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Open Forum: Casino helped me go to school

I have worked at Grand Casino Mille Lacs since 1993, and in that time the casino has helped me pursue higher education — something that is uncommon among most employers in the area. I now have a casino management diploma and a general associate’s degree from Central Lakes College in Brainerd and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of St. Scholastica. Because of these degrees, I have been promoted several times at Grand Casino. Many of my colleagues are also pursuing higher education — in fact, 79 casino associates have attended 219 classes at Central Lakes College in the past five years. Gaming expansion would hinder Grand Casinos’ ability to support higher education in the region.

Gaming expansion may also force Grand Casinos to lay off some of its employees. This would mean that people in the area would have less disposable income to spend at businesses in region, including those in Brainerd. I currently do most of my shopping in Brainerd even though I live in Aitkin.  If I had to commute further south to find work, I would probably not shop in Brainerd.

Please don’t threaten my community by supporting gaming expansion!

Kay Olson