Bally’s Contributes US$5M to CCRI Foundation in Ongoing Partnership
Bally’s Corporation has declared a donation of $5 million to the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) Foundation, reinforcing their enduring collaboration. The donation stands as the most substantial contribution in the Foundation’s near 45-year tenure, effectively doubling CCRI’s endowment. The intention behind the donation is to enhance educational avenues and bolster economic prospects for students inclined towards the casino and gaming sectors. Furthermore, it aids Bally’s employees keen on enhancing their professional capabilities.
The collaboration was unveiled at an event conducted on CCRI’s Flanagan Campus. Among the attendees were eminent personalities such as Governor Daniel McKee, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, House Majority Leader Chris Blazejewski, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim, CCRI Interim President Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan, Ph.D., R.N., and former CCRI President Dr. Meghan Hughes.
This partnership positions CCRI uniquely, making it the sole higher educational institution in Rhode Island, and one among the select institutions in New England, offering students a certificate or associate degree centered around a holistic gaming-oriented curriculum. The curriculum is poised to encompass traditional academic settings, digital courses, on-campus labs, and professional stints at Bally’s establishments. Modules are set to span a range of areas from dealer training, casino procedures, iGaming operations to hotel management and culinary arts.
CCRI aims to collaborate with faculty and staff in crafting the curriculum, with an objective to roll out degree programs by Fall 2024. Concurrently, the college’s Division of Workforce Partnerships plans to devise short-term credentials, catering to the upskilling needs of Bally’s current staff and sculpting a talent reservoir for prospective hires.
It’s noteworthy that CCRI, being Rhode Island’s premier public higher education entity, facilitates learning for nearly 20,000 students annually. The institution has been recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, and it remains a foremost educator for low-income and students of color within the state.
Beyond curriculum development, Bally’s infusion will support scholarships for eligible Rhode Islanders eyeing a future in the burgeoning igaming, casino, and hospitality domains, echoing Bally’s unwavering dedication to fostering economic advancement in the communities it operates within. More specifics regarding this initiative, encompassing scholarship prospects, are anticipated soon.
Mr. Kim said, “It is an honor to partner with CCRI on such an exciting and important initiative. We are proud to play an integral part in offering higher education opportunities for Rhode Island’s workforce, creating new jobs, and driving economic development. Rhode Island is our home, and continued investment in its local communities and workforces will always be a top priority for us. While this donation is the latest milestone in our long-term partnership with CCRI, we look forward to supporting this program for many years to come, creating a legacy of economic opportunity.”
Governor McKee said, “This landmark partnership between Bally’s and CCRI will provide important learning and training for our CCRI students, leading to new workforce opportunities. The generous gift provided by one Rhode Island-based company for the benefit of so many of our state’s community college students is a powerful way to advance economic and social opportunity and teach meaningful, transferable workforce skills. I applaud Bally’s for investing in our state’s higher education system and our students.”
Dr. Costigan said, “This remarkable gift recognizes the College’s track record in expanding new programs and degree pathways for students. The initiative, developed in partnership with the Bally’s and CCRI teams, will provide CCRI students with new opportunities to learn and work as the best version of themselves. Our partnership brings attention to the unparalleled value of community colleges and their powerful role in the region’s economy, and I am grateful for Bally’s belief in us and our incredible students.”
Dr. Hughes, under whose tenure the relationship between the college and Bally’s developed, said, “Bally’s $5 million contribution to the CCRI Foundation marks an extraordinary moment in the college’s history. This partnership between CCRI and Bally’s stands as a testament to the transformative power of education and industry collaboration. Through this initiative, we are investing in community college students and their future success.”