Colleges training casino workers "absurd"

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — As 22NEWS first reported on Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission plans to deny a proposal from community colleges to have exclusive training rights over future casino workers.  The decision comes following complaints from the New England Casino Dealer Academy, a private school that specializes in training casino workers and lacks confidence in public higher education.

“Those students will fail miserably I guarantee it,” said New England Casino Dealer Academy President Michael Tassoni. “Community Colleges with zero expertise in the gaming industry, specifically in training dealers, is absurd.”

15 community colleges have joined workforce educators to form the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute. They want to provide an efficient one-stop shop for casinos to hire workers.

“It’s part of our mission and we would be involved in it as best we can whether the Commission recognizes us as the exclusive provider or not,” said Holyoke Community College President William Messner.

The Institute will get a response from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission next week on their proposal to work with the Commission on the issues of job training and licensing.  Though the idea of exclusive training rights has been dismissed, the Commission's Chairman says some sort of centralized training system might be helpful.

“I can imagine having somebody who has the ability to say ‘yes’ this person is qualified or not. Maybe it’s a standardized test, I don’t know what it is, and to have that located in one sole place so we have some quality control,” said Mass Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby.

Educators estimate that a statewide pool of 30,000 applicants will be needed to fill more than 10,000 job openings in the casino industry. 

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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