1. How long are the classes?
The length of vocational classes varies, ranging from two weeks to three months. Before beginning a class, students take a half-day employability class, which teaches them interview techniques, professional attire and grooming, and how to apply online for jobs on the Strip.
2. Where does the Academy’s funding come from?
The Academy is a labor-management trust, funded by our 33 participating partners on the Strip, which contribute to the fund at an hourly rate per covered employee. In addition, funding comes from tuition, catering and concessions, restaurants, and food programs. The Academy also receives donations, including generous gifts from MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Foundation, Bank of Nevada, and the public.
3. What are the costs for classes?
See the course list under “Training” for specific costs. Incumbent workers at our participating properties receive training free as one of their benefits. New entrants typically get funding from federal, state, and nonprofit sources. Our classes are priced very reasonably for the small percentage of our students who pay for classes themselves, and we work with students to arrange convenient payment plans.
4. Who is the typical Academy student?
Our students come from all over the country and the world. Some are newly arrived in town; others have lived here their whole lives. They share a desire to work hard to better their lives. New entrants typically have a high school education and are unemployed, with little or no background in hospitality. Incumbent workers have jobs with our participating partners and want to upgrade their skills and advance in their careers. Everyone is welcome, and we are proud of our diverse student body.
5. How many students do you train a year?
It varies, but typically we train approximately 1,600 students each year in 12 different jobs.
6. How do students gain admission to the program?
New entrants interested in enrolling at the Academy must attend orientation (offered every Monday at 10 a.m.; no reservation required), where they complete a career assessment form. A Student Services representative then meets individually with applicants to discuss their job aspirations and review prerequisites for the classes to determine the right placement. At orientation, students learn about funding sources available to help cover the cost of the course.
Applicants for whom English is a second language take written and oral assessment tests to determine whether they have the English language proficiency to go directly into a vocational class, whether they need to start with our Vocational English for Speakers of Other Languages two-week class, or whether they need to be referred to an outside English class.
7. Do you have any services for non-native English speakers?
Our Vocational English for Speakers of Other Languages class addresses the vocational language needs of non-native English speakers who plan to enter the hospitality industry. This intensive vocational English training is designed to help students communicate effectively with hotel guests, supervisors, and co-workers while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and customer service.
8. How can the community get involved with the Academy?
We are happy to participate in community outreach events to provide information on our training. If you are planning an event where we can host a booth, please let us know at (702) 924-2100. Also, we invite the public to come try the Westside Bistro or have their next event handled by our catering operations, Culinary Arts Catering, all of which meet our mission of serving the community. Organizations can also volunteer to serve as a sponsor or a site for our food services program.