Workforce Spotlight: MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren

Jun 20, 2018

This week’s #WorkforceWednesday features Jim Murren, the Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. The company has launched a range of efforts to create rewarding jobs and enable employees to succeed in a changing economy: 

Jim Murren explains:

“At MGM Resorts, we see the travel and hospitality industry as a key pillar of the U.S. economy — employing 8.8 million Americans and representing our nation’s largest service export. We’re committed to sustaining and expanding this positive impact for our employees, their families, and their communities.”

Here’s a look at a few ongoing workforce development initiatives led by MGM Resorts and Jim Murren:

The Problem

The private sector can play a pivotal role in helping American workers to acquire in-demand skills, pursue new opportunities, and continue driving economic growth:

  • The U.S. needs more workers to capitalize on a global travel boom: The U.S. must address a significant skills gap to continue advancing robust growth — including in travel and hospitality. By 2025, the number of international travelers is projected to grow to 1.8 billion. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are roughly 1 million job openings in the U.S. leisure and hospitality sector.
  • Americans want to develop new skills: Even amid a strong economy, many Americans feel they need new skills to succeed in the changing future of work. According to the Pew Research Center, more than a third of American workers say they need more education and training to advance at work. Additionally, a 2018 report by the Council on Foreign Relations found that approximately two-thirds of the new jobs created since 2010 require medium or advanced levels of digital skills.
  • Private-sector leadership is critical: Given the polarized environment in Washington, it is now clear that the private sector — particularly the travel and hospitality industry — must develop solutions that train workers in 21st-century skills, strengthen the middle class, and enable Americans to enjoy rewarding careers. The travel industry is uniquely positioned to lead because unlike many industries, these jobs rely on human capital, requiring an ever-evolving skill set even while the industry continues to technologically advance.

The Programs

MGM Resorts is taking action to open job opportunities, train employees, and partner with local communities:

  • Working with communities: Across the United States, MGM Resorts partners with local organizations, colleges, and non-profit groups to train residents with the specialized skills they need for jobs in the travel and hospitality industry.
  • Providing workforce development opportunities: New hires receive extensive training, and are offered continuous opportunities for learning and development. Specialized MGM Resorts programs provide training in hotel operations, security and food and beverage and the company offers a core curriculum that provides leaders with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.
  • Launching the MGM Resorts International Public Policy Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV): MGM Resorts created a think tank — the MGM Resorts International Public Policy Institute at UNLV — to explore bipartisan policies that improve the lives of individuals, workplaces, and communities. The Institute aims to address urgent social and economic issues, such as the shifting future of work.

The Progress

Believing the private sector can lead the development of 21st-century skills, MGM Resorts and Jim Murren are helping to shape the future of work:

  • Providing a gateway to the middle class and beyond: MGM Resorts offers its 78,000 employees a gateway to the middle class and beyond — paying an average salary of $45,000. This drives one of the top retention rates in the industry, with an average tenure of more than 8 years.
  • Investing in local communities: Creating desirable jobs for local residents allows the company to serve as an employment engine. At MGM National Harbor, local residents were hired to fill 4,000 permanent jobs and 50 percent of the workforce is from Prince George’s County. At MGM Grand Detroit, it hired more than 1,500 residents; 55 percent of the resort’s workforce.
  • Enabling career growth: MGM Resorts offers dynamic career prospects across more than 400 job classifications, from financial analysis to technology to engineering.
  • Engaging in real-world policy solutions: Launched in 2017, The MGM Resorts International Public Policy Institute at UNLV is co-Chaired by former Democratic Leader Harry Reid and former Speaker of the House John Boehner and is bringing together people with different backgrounds and perspectives to find bipartisan, research-based policy solutions that inform both economic outcomes and the broader debate of the future of work in America.

To learn more about workforce development initiatives led by Business Roundtable CEO member companies, please visit:

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