SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Businesses got the chance to find out what it takes to partner with MGM Springfield. Just as MGM Springfield physically starts to take shape downtown, so too does the hope it will have a major economic impact on Springfield and the region.
More than 200 vendors filled the MassMutual Center Wednesday for an informational session on how their business can partner with MGM.
Junior Jabbie is the executive manager of corporate operations for Banneker Industries in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. He heard about the vendor fair at several other industry evens across the country. “We do warehousing and distribution and third party logistics, so we’re looking to partner with not just MGM but also local suppliers and vendors to help supply warehousing and distribution services for things that they can’t do in their own space,” Jabbie told 22News. He said he and his staff will also likely benefit from the casino by going to it for entertainment. “They don’t put up a casino every year, so it’s an exciting opportunity,” he added.
Vendors represented the furniture, fixtures, equipment and construction industries.
“All I’ve been able to do is register so far, so today I’m looking forward to actually meeting some of the players and the procurement team,” said Rosemarie Walsh of Hi Viz and Work Wear in East Freetown, Massachusetts. She added, “I represent safety and that’s very important. It’s important to MGM, it’s important to any company.”
Businesses had the chance for one-on-one sessions with the MGM team to pitch what their companies could offer.
As part of MGM Springfield’s agreement with the state’s Expanded Gaming Act, they’re required to work with local vendors and businesses. And MGM’s representative said it just makes sense to do that. “We’re always looking to engage as much as possible in our local community because it helps support the project and frankly it often makes sense to get products and services locally than further away from a cost standpoint,” said Seth Stratton, Vice President and General Counsel of MGM Springfield. He said this project is the single most expensive [private] economic development project in the history of Massachusetts.
MGM’s goal is for 90 percent of the workforce to be from this region, with 35 percent from Springfield. MGM plans to spend more than 50 million dollars annually in the region through hiring local businesses, and paying more than 35 million dollars to the City of Springfield each year.