by Dan Glaun, MassLive.com
In 2013, Mike Knapp, a former council president in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Jason Green, a White House counsel, launched SkillSmart, a business they hoped would change how companies and communities connect workers with job openings.
Now, SkillSmart is on the front lines of one of MGM Springfield’s most anticipated promises: To hire 3,000 workers once the downtown Springfield casino opens in September 2018.
“It’s unique to Springfield. What we’ve been doing for the last two months is reaching out to community based organizations,” Knapp said in an interview. “We’re trying to tie those in so it’s not just a tool that individuals can use.”
MGM Springfield recently launched its online job platform, using SkillSmart as its platform. While applications will not be open until 2018, jobseekers can create profiles and see how they match up with about 80 positions, from the casino floor to administrative offices.
“What we do is we really break down that job description to 15, 16, 18 skills, that a job seeker can look at and say ‘Oh, I’ve done those things,’ ” Knapp said “The employer can much more readily assess what they can contribute to their organization.”
The MGM Springfield platform connects jobseekers with courses at local colleges like Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and Greenfield Community College that are tailored to provide missing skills, Knapp said.