Bill Hornbuckle onstage in front of a large audience.

New vocational job placement program highlights MGM Resorts’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

As children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder transition into adulthood, national data shows they will experience substantial challenges accessing competitive employment opportunities, often resulting in unemploymenst or underemployment. With a focus on addressing this societal concern, promoting a culture of inclusion and executing on its philanthropic priority of developing a sustainable workforce, the MGM Resorts Social Impact and Sustainability team partnered with Las Vegas-based nonprofit organization Grant a Gift Autism Foundation— Ackerman Center (GGAF) to develop a vocational job placement program aimed at providing employment opportunities to individuals in Southern Nevada on the autism spectrum.

GGAF, which offers diagnostic and treatment services as well as vocational programs, provides clients with a 12-week vocational readiness training program in which they learn pivotal skills, while caregivers receive access to empowerment training and other family services. After completing the program, GGAF clients apply for open MGM Resorts positions that meet specific requirements. Upon employment, new employees can then seek on-site coaching through GGAF to ensure full understanding of the role beyond traditional employee onboarding. As part of the partnership, MGM Resorts pledged $120,000 for program initiation. And in September 2022, in front of a record crowd at the 12th Annual Grant a Gift Gala at Allegiant Stadium, MGM Resorts CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle pledged an additional $1 million to expand the program over the next five years, with a long-term goal of creating a consistent talent pool of GGAF clients from which MGM Resorts can recruit.

“Creating pathways to employment and access to resources provides individuals with opportunities to enter into and succeed in the workforce,” said Justin Fronberg, Executive Director of Talent Acquisition. “We are proud to partner with the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation on a program that not only benefits our community, but also promotes inclusion and strengthens our company.” In late July 2022, the MGM Resorts Talent Acquisition team hosted its first hiring event at GGAF, extending employment offers to the vocational job placement program’s first group of employees. “We are honored to partner with Nevada’s largest private employer, MGM Resorts, with our vocational program,” said Brian Hager, GGAF President. Grant a Gift Autism Foundation—Ackerman Center continues to work toward ensuring every Southern Nevadan with autism or other neurodevelopmental conditions has access to quality care and helping all clients reach their fullest potential.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for their commitment to help build a more diverse workforce and provide opportunities to our clients, where they are often met with opposition. Diversity creates opportunity, and MGM Resorts International is stepping up to create endless opportunities for our clients and our community.”