Starting next month, the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and the Gun Lake Casino will be partnering to develop a blackjack dealer academy job program. The aim of the program is to help the Michigan-based tribal casino find blackjack dealers for the casino. GRCC’s blackjack dealer academy program will offer a series of classes that give aspiring blackjack dealers 48-hours of training in online blackjack for real money. Ultimately, the program is helping Gun Lake Casino find the 25 dealers it needs. Operated by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi, Gun Lake needs these employees mostly for second- and third-shift positions. This is the first a tribal casino has partnered with a community college in Michigan, says GRCC officials.blackjack-dealer-academy-in-michigan-USA“We look at it as an opportunity to be responsive to the needs of our community, says GRCC’s director of communications, Dave Murray. “Community colleges are often working with local employers to fill needs for people with in-demand skills for rewarding jobs. This is another example of that.”There have been similar dealer-training programs established in Maryland’s Horseshoe Baltimore and Massachusetts’ MGM Springfield.

Blackjack Dealer Academy Meeting the Needs of the Community

Those that want to participate in the program must, firstly, be at least 21 years old. Secondly, they need to have either a high school diploma or equivalent. With Gun Lake Casino covering most of the costs for the course, the fee is just $25.

Comparatively, programs in other states like Massachusetts and Maryland cost between $197 and $737 per class. However, it should be noted that these courses offer other casino table games. Participants that complete the course will be awarded with a certificate from the blackjack dealer academy. Subsequently, they will move on to an audition phase with the casino. If they pass, they will receive a gaming license and a guaranteed job at Gun Lake. These jobs will pay, on average, between $18 and $22 per hour, including both base pay and tips. Additionally, they will get access to free healthcare and free meals while they work.

Should a student become a full-time blackjack dealer working 40 hours a week, they would earn an annual income of $41,600. Graduates from this course will be entry-level employees, says Gun Lake Casino’s vice president and general manager. They are also always highly in demand/ “At Gun Lake Casino we believe strongly in promoting from within and have established internal training programs along with offering a strong tuition reimbursement program to prepare all team members to step into other positions within our organization,” he says. To find out more about the program and to sign up for classes, check out the GRCC’s website.

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