By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News
Searching for a job can be frustrating, time consuming and discouraging. Especially when you apply for an entry-level position that requires prior experience. When working with money, it’s important that an applicant has at least a working knowledge of accepting and distributing cash, especially in gaming establishments like the Tulalip Resort Casino, Tulalip Bingo and Quil Ceda Creek Casino. For positions within the Resort, it’s expected that a future team member understands how to communicate with guests in a professional manner to uphold the AAA Four Diamond rating. To maintain these standards and ensure that each guest is treated with respect and receives quality service, the Tulalip Gaming Organization (TGO) requires six months of prior cash handling experience and/or guest service experience for entry-level positions.
Many people who are job hunting might have found themselves on the Tulalip career website thinking, ‘how do I get experience if all entry-level positions require experience?’ Although that question may be rhetorical, TGO has an answer in the form of a week-long training known as the Tulalip Job Ready Program. Originally open to Tulalip tribal members only, the trainings expanded upon gaining interest from spouses of Tulalip tribal members as well as from other natives. Beginning last September, the trainings have now opened up to applicants who are identified as Tier 5 in the Tulalip hiring process, or non-natives who are current team members.
The trainings are held on a monthly basis and will take up to ten participants, requiring a minimum of four to conduct the classes. In the course of a week, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., participants gain the equivalent of six-month cash handling and guest service experience. Upon successful completion, participants will be able to apply for any ‘frontline’ position at any of the Tulalip gaming establishments as well as Tribal positions with the Hibulb Cultural Center, the Chevron gas stations and the liquor store. To help ensure further success, the trainings also cover interview skills. At the end of the week, the students participate in mock interviews and discuss their strengths and areas to improve. Trainees also get to turn the tables and interview the trainer. The idea behind the role reversal is that by seeing the hiring process from a different perspective, the applicant will essentially be rooting for the trainer during the interview and think of new ideas and answers they want to hear as the person conducting the interview.
“I learn as much as they do, it keeps me within the community which is important to me,” states Tulalip Resort Casino Training Manager, Lisa Olver. “I’m hoping to build the future of our workforce and whatever I can do to help people realize their potential is what I’m aiming for.”
Now that the trainings are open to Tier 5 team members, many TGO employees have attended the classes in order to move up within the organization. On recommendation from his supervisor, Eagles Buffet Host, Nicholas Leech, attended the trainings and plans on using his newfound knowledge to obtain a new position.
“With the knowledge I’ve gained, I plan on reaching for a supervisor position and move up in the near future,” states Nicholas. “But with all the stuff that I’ve learned, I can also take it and apply for a number of positions as well as to my everyday life. I think everyone should take the class, it gets people in the door. It gives you that experience and gets you going. It gives you a reason to say, I’m willing and able to get that job.”
Lisa explained that often times, participants like to take the trainings with their significant others with hopes of beginning careers at Tulalip to support their families. Family members and friends are encouraged to attend the classes with each other to help build support and confidence in one another. Recently Tulalip mother and son, Danelle and Danicio Gomez, successfully completed the training together and are ready to start applying for positions at the casinos, preferably somewhere in the cage.
“Everything about the class is good,” says Danelle. “It gives you a different point of view. I’m forty-six, I came in to do the classes with my son. This class got me thinking outside of the box, they have honestly helped. It’s important because you gain knowledge and skills in these classes and the trainers are here to help you get into these jobs.”
“It’s actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” adds Danicio. “I learned a lot about cash handling, using the ten-key [calculator] and how the cage handles cash. It helps everybody. Anybody who wants to work in the cage or somewhere in the casino, they have to know the regulations and this is like a crash course to teach them.”
To sign-up for the next Tulalip Job Ready Trainings please contact the TGO Hiring and Resource Center at (360) 716-1562.