College and casino partner on blackjack program


A look inside the high-limit room at Gun Lake Casino. Photo via

A local college and a casino are partnering to offer a certification in blackjack dealing.

Grand Rapids Community College is working with Gun Lake Casino to offer the Blackjack Dealer Academy this fall, according to GRCC last week.

Gun Lake Casino representatives reached out to GRCC Workforce Training for help bring a program to the Grand Rapids area that teaches people how to be blackjack dealers.

Students who successfully complete the training will receive a Blackjack Dealer Academy certification and be interviewed by the casino for jobs.

“It is a natural fit for us to partner with Grand Rapids Community College,” said Jose Flores, VP and general manager, Gun Lake Casino. “We have many GRCC alumni who are key contributors at Gun Lake Casino within our hospitality and security departments."

Prospective students must be 21 or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

The casino is funding most of the training, so the class costs $25 for students.

The job openings are mainly for second- and third-shift hours. Wages vary, but the average is $18 to $22 per hour, including tips. In many cases, food and transportation are offered.

GRCC will host the first set of classes, which will be taught by a casino instructor, in October.

“This is our first opportunity to train people for careers in the gaming industry, and we are looking forward to growing this new partnership,” said Julie Parks, executive director, GRCC Workforce Training.

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