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MGM Mirage lauds gains in hiring, contracting

24 May 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- MGM Mirage, for the seventh straight year, extolled the virtues of its corporate diversity initiatives, pointing out continued gains in hiring a multicultural work force while providing increased opportunities for minority and woman-owned businesses to work with the casino giant.

Still, MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni said Wednesday he sees room for improvement.

Some in the gaming industry say MGM Mirage's annual report is just the gaming company tooting its own horn. Lanni said the event, which drew about 1,000 MGM Mirage employees, suppliers, contractors and business leaders to the Mandalay Bay Events Center, was a way for the company to provide a transparent and accountable report on its activities.

"Everything is there," Lanni said after the event, pointing to the glossy, full-color 67-page report that was distributed to everyone in attendance. "Even the areas where we didn't do as well as we had hoped are listed. My goal is to attain a proper employee representation throughout our company, especially at the level of vice president and above. We know that takes time because you just don't want to put someone in that position who isn't ready. But we're taking the proper steps to reach that goal."

During his presentation, Lanni pointed out the success of a one-time line cook at the Excalibur, who, through training provided by the company, was able to work his way into a position as assistant director of food and beverage at the resort.

Lanni said MGM Mirage's expansion initiatives in Las Vegas, Detroit and Macau, which could increase the company's 65,000-person work force by more than 20 percent, offer the potential for additional diversity initiatives.

By the end of 2006, MGM Mirage said its minority employee representation totaled 56.2 percent of the company's work force.

The company said it spent $1.3 billion on biddable goods and services during 2006, of which $150 million was spent with minority enterprises. The figure was $7 million more than in 2005.

MGM Mirage spent $276 with minority and women-owned construction businesses in 2006, including the building of its $17.8 million residential sales pavilion for CityCenter, handled by Thor Construction.

Perini, which is overseeing construction of the entire $7.4 billion CityCenter development, committed to MGM Mirage that at least 25 percent to 26 percent of its subcontractors would be minority-owned businesses. So far, Lanni said, 55 percent of the CityCenter subcontractors represent minority-owned businesses.

"We come to expect that all our vendors will embrace our diversity initiatives," Lanni said.

MGM Mirage lauds gains in hiring, contracting is republished from