MGM Resorts International – the operator of the $1 billion casino and resort under construction at National Harbor – has pledged to hire county residents to build and run the facility, and donate $400,000 a year to nonprofits in Prince George’s County.
Details of the pledge are outlined in a community benefits agreement announced by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, according to a county news release.
The agreement, signed two days ago by Baker and MGM National Harbor President Lorenzo Creighton, was not a statutory requirement, since no government money is involved in the project, reports the Washington Business Journal. The financial contributions outlined in the agreement are beyond the estimated $9 million annually that the county should earn from the casino under the state's gaming.
“After months of negotiating, I am proud to say that we have reached a deal with MGM that ensures this facility will have a transformative impact on our residents, businesses and communities,” said Baker. “The goals for local hiring and contracting in this agreement are both ambitious and fair.”
MGM expects to hire more than 4,000 people to work in the casino, as well as the 300-room hotel, conference and assembly rooms, a 3,000-seat theater and numerous restaurants, the business publications says.
The agreement sets a target of 40 percent of employees being county residents and veterans in years one and two, working up to 50 percent in the fifth year of operation as well as an aspirational goal of hiring county residents for half of all jobs at the facility by day one. The agreement also has a goal of hiring county residents for 20 percent of all construction jobs.
While the facility is in operation, MGM has committed to a best efforts goal of 20 percent of contracts being awarded to county-based minority businesses, according to the county.
In addition to local hiring and contracting goals, the agreement sets up sustained philanthropic commitments. Before the opening of the facility, MGM has agreed to donate $1 million to local organizations that provide workforce training and to non-profits that benefit the county. After the opening, MGM will donate $400,000 each year.
The Community Benefit Agreement has been submitted to the County Council for approval.