Do You Reskill, Upskill or Cut Your Education Budget During a Pandemic?

Right before the industry shutdown this past spring, our issue of Tribal Gaming & Hospitality Magazine focused on the “labor crisis.” This included articles (see list below) on what casinos needed to do to attract and retain employees in highly competitive markets as well as the imperative to focus on education for our team members.

How things can change in an instant, right?

Six months later and EVERYTHING has shifted and there are obstacles in the way for the already underserved Tribal population attaining their educational goals.

In today’s interview, I caught up with Patrick Horning, Senior Manager of National Tribal Operations for the University of Phoenix, where he oversees all internal and external Tribal related activities, processes and business partnerships. He shares that, “We know that funds are being cut. Education funds are important, but not more important than the fundamental needs of the enterprise.”

Will students quit or will they take on enormous debt to finish their education? How will these budget cuts impact Tribal members and their educational support? What will be the long term ramifications? Are there opportunities to upskill and reskill that can be accomplished through other programs other than attaining a four year degree or masters, especially if a team member has been laid off?

What we know is this: there was an educational gap before. Unemployment and the economy are compounding this issue. What measures can be taken as an industry to offset this situation? Patrick has some ideas and he and his team are always available to answer questions to help students and potential student navigate higher education. You can reach Patrick at [email protected]. (You may not know that the University of Phoenix offers special packages to not only Tribal members, but any team member working for a Tribal enterprises).

Patrick Horning