Securing jobs for Long Island has never been an easy task. Companies have been leaving for years for places where taxes and utility costs are less. Entrepreneurs find it hard to pay employees who need to live in Nassau or Suffolk counties.
The Las Vegas Sands, a resort company that in January announced plans to develop what it describes as a “multi-billion dollar flagship hospitality, entertainment and casino project,” may be part of the answer to the problems.
Already, well before any shovel goes in the ground, organizations are seeking job opportunities.
Minority Millennials, a Long Island-based non-profit, is among them, its founder and president, Dan Lloyd, said in an interview last week. Lloyd said that the organization, which got its start in 2017, has partnered with the Sands to build a diverse local talent pipeline for pre-apprenticeships and procurement opportunities associated with the Sands proposal.
The Sands has agreed to purchase a long-term lease of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and would occupy about 80 acres in the county.
New York State has opened up the application process for three downstate facilities with gaming licenses. The casino in Nassau would be only 10 percent of the project, the developers have said.
Brad Maione, a spokesman for the New York State Gaming Commission, said earlier this week that no other bids had been filed for gaming licenses in Nassau County.
The Sands has many hoops to go through before it can open in Nassau, but Lloyd said his organization is not just waiting.
“We need to get to the table for opportunities and jobs,” Lloyd, 36, said. So far, he said, he has signed up about a dozen people who might be interested in either working at the Sands or contracting with it for services, including entertainment. Lloyd said he hopes to so sign up as man as 20.
Sands officials have said they will collaborate with the surrounding communities to create a plan that maximizes economic opportunity and “protects the quality of life for all Long Islanders.”
The company said also that the project, if approved, will create 12,000 construction jobs and employ 5,000 people.
“From day one, our goal has been to foster a strong connection with the community as we build this bid,” Ron Reese, a senior vice president at the Sands, said in a statement.
Lloyd said his organization will be creating a Procurement Academy to collect information on job opportunities, at its offices in Amityville.
In a statement, Lloyd said, “The partnership (with the Sands) allows Minority Millennials to identify, train and prepare Long Islanders who want to secure jobs and vendor contracts with the Sands as the proposal moves forward. It will fill the San talent pipeline with local people who want to help build and work with the project.”
Social media will be a major part of the campaign to build jobs with the Sands. But it will also include in-person events as well as military disabled veterans, a resume workshop, and a pre-apprenticeship fair where local unions and training centers can recruit new members for any potential construction-related jobs.
One of those already associated with Minority Millennials is Jose Tutiven, 29, leader of a five-year-old organization, Colored Colors, which strives to build relationships between creative people through arts events and showcases.
“I like the Sands because it’s going to make Long Island a destination place,” said Tutiven. Artists and entertainers may find opportunities there he said.
“We have the talent on Long Island. We will have a bigger stage,” he said.
Another, Lance Mason, also 29, is a CPA who has his own business. Hopes perhaps to get some work from the Sands.
“The whole community could benefit,” Mason said.