SCCC sees casino degree program as good bet
SCHENECTADY Schenectady County Community College officials want to add a degree program in casino management in anticipation of Saratoga Springs potentially getting a full-fledged casino.
The college is applying to SUNY to offer a two-year associate degree in casino and gaming management. Board of trustees Chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw said the college was interested in adding the program because Saratoga officials are lobbying the state to select it as one of seven sites to allow table games. Right now, Saratoga Casino and Raceway has video slot machines. Murphy McGraw believes it is a growth market.
“We’ve tried to look for new program opportunities where there really seems to be interest and future employment opportunities,” she said.
College officials have been meeting with Saratoga Casino and Raceway officials as well as people from the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut to get input for developing the programs.
“They really need quality employees that understand what it means to run these operations,” Murphy McGraw said.
The program would detail how to run a casino operation — everything from the laws involved to the layout of the casino floor. Murphy McGraw said another important part of the program would be how to spot the signs of gambling addiction.
If the program is approved, current employees could receive training at SCCC and new graduates could potentially find employment.
Murphy McGraw said there is a chance the program could be up and running by the fall, but it would be more likely by the spring of 2014 as it must receive approval from the SUNY Board of Trustees.
“There are a number of faculty and staff that are very excited about this,” she said.
The Saratoga Springs City Council and the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved resolutions backing a full-service casino. The first step is for the state Legislature to approve for the second time a pro-gambling constitutional amendment. Then the public must approve it in a referendum.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that he doesn’t want the constitutional amendment to name specific casino sites, but preferred a bidding process. He did say that local municipalities should have a say in whether or not they want a casino.
SCCC is also submitting to SUNY a request to start an associate degree program in supply chain management.
This field involves understanding everything from how products are created to how they end up on store shelves and the logistics of how they are moved from place to place.
Students who receive degrees in this field would be qualified to work at a fulfillment center, which moves merchandise ordered online to its destinations.
McGraw said she believes there are opportunities in this region for field experience in those programs.