MGM National Harbor pledging big community commitment

WASHINGTON — Time will tell whether MGM National Harbor benefits the local community, but company executives are pledging MGM and its employees will help funnel money into Prince George’s County.

The MGM Resorts Foundation facilitates charitable efforts numbers of ways, the company says. Automatic deductions from worker paychecks can be sent to a charity of their choice.

“You decide ‘I want to give two dollars out of every single check to this charity,’ said Danielle White, regional vice president of community engagement for MGM Resorts International. “You can determine to do that and we won’t take any of the processing fees out. Your whole two dollars goes directly to that organization.”

Foundation donation options also include an emergency relief fund for employees and a “grants” fund.

“Organizations in the community will be able to apply for those funds,” White said. “And the council that determines where the grants go, is totally made up of employees.”

Grants for National Harbor, Maryland, will open in 2017.

Under the community benefits agreement Prince George’s County signed with MGM National Harbor, the resort also will give hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region – Prince George’s County.

Other recent MGM National Harbor donations detailed by White include the creation of a scholarship to support veteran students at the University of Maryland – College Park. The company also donated money to Prince George’s Community College for a culinary arts building.

On New Year’s Eve 2016-17, a portion of all proceeds from celebration event tickets will benefit the Prince George’s County Police Foundation and HEROES, Inc.

“We’re going to continue to give back, we’re going to volunteer, we’re going to be part of the community,” White said. “I want people to look around and see us at large events and small events and see us working with organizations that are unexpected organizations and not necessarily typical.”

MGM National Harbor’s goal was for residents of Prince George’s County to make up 40 percent of its workforce. When the resort opened, 48 percent of hires were county residents. White said within five years it wants half of MGM National Harbor employees to come from the county.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up