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UNLV International Gaming Institute and Core Academy Launch Summer Hospitality & Tourism Program

First-of-its-kind Young Executive Scholars experience to enhance pipeline of homegrown hospitality talent in Las Vegas.
Business and Community  |  Jun 5, 2017  |  By UNLV News Center
Media Contact: Raegen Pietrucha, UNLV Research & Economic Development: (702) 895-4191
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UNLV’s International Gaming Institute (IGI) and Core Academy, powered by The Rogers Foundation, are teaming up to create a strong pipeline of homegrown talent who will become the next generation of Nevada hospitality industry leaders.

The Young Executive Scholars (YES) Hospitality & Tourism Program is a first-of-its-kind summer program for high school students, and 30 tenth-grade Core Academy Scholars have been selected as the inaugural participants.

YES kicks off June 12 and is modeled after the IGI and University of Nevada, Reno’s world-class Executive Development Program for industry professionals. During the five-week summer program, scholars will discover the managerial and executive-level career opportunities available to them in the hospitality and tourism industry, gain insight into the college experience at UNLV, and develop new skills to excel in the classroom today and the workplace tomorrow.

“Las Vegas is the global intellectual capital of the gaming industry. At IGI, our mission is to maintain that distinction by fueling the industry with innovation and creating a strong pipeline of future talent,” said Bo Bernhard, UNLV IGI executive director. “Developing these scholars in partnership with Core Academy helps us to achieve our mission.”

“The YES Hospitality & Tourism Program will provide our scholars a whole new perspective of the multibillion-dollar industry that sits right in their backyard,” said Lindsay Harper, Core Academy executive director. “The program will expose scholars to professional career opportunities within hospitality and tourism they didn’t know existed and encourage them to excel in academic areas they did not realize were applicable to the industry.”

Participating Core Academy Scholars were selected based upon the strength of their essay submissions required for program admittance. Scholars will attend the rigorous program on the UNLV campus, where they will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with some of the most prominent figures in the hospitality industry, including senior-level executives from across Las Vegas’ multiple Fortune 500 integrated resort companies and leading academic experts in the field.

In addition, scholars will participate in a team competition, forming groups to take on a challenging academic project with real-world business implications. This mentor-guided, hands-on project will frame learning throughout the program by asking the next generation of leaders to imagine and design their own world-class integrated resort. Scholars will be asked to apply key lessons from the course to respond to a mock request for proposal for the City of Las Vegas’ next integrated resort and explore the diverse career sectors available in the industry, including finance, marketing, communication, public relations, law architecture, STEM fields, management, human resources, community relations, government relations, leadership, and much more.

The team competition will be moderated by Bernhard and Harper, along with Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesars Entertainment executive vice president, government relations & corporate responsibility; and Shekinah Hoffman, UNLV IGI special project coordinator. Upon completion, teams will receive detailed feedback on their projects from a panel of industry and academic experts and win prizes. A $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to one outstanding scholar participant.

The YES Program has received generous support from Nevada’s leading industry through the donation of time, funds, and resources from across the gaming-hospitality community. Operators, suppliers, vendors, and industry allies have all come together to support YES by donating exclusive back-of-house tours, one-on-one mentoring sessions with top executive leaders, and more. Industry and community support comes together once more for YES, as Caesars Entertainment and The Rogers Foundation are the premier program sponsors.

About Core Academy

Core Academy, powered by The Rogers Foundation, is an in- and out-of-school model that focuses on the development and empowerment of Southern Nevada’s under-resourced youth. Our staff invests an average of 886 hours a year per Core Academy Scholar, individualizing programming to fit their different needs. Our approach is based on the philosophy that long-term, comprehensive support, partnered with a collective impact model, will break the cycle of poverty and allow the young adults we serve to reach their full potential.

About UNLV International Gaming Institute

The UNLV International Gaming Institute (IGI) is committed to providing cutting-edge insights to the global gaming industry. IGI provides research and programs to more than 50 jurisdictions across the globe—to leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In addition to research and executive education offerings, the International Gaming Institute’s “Centers of Excellence” help IGI achieve status as the global intellectual capital of gaming. The Center for Gaming Innovation, International Center for Gaming Regulation, Hospitality Lab, and eSports Lab were all developed to address a strategic program that an academic institution’s unique spaces and structures can solve.