The 21 trainees undergoing job preparation and administrative job skills training received a visit on June 26 from the Director of Insular Affairs, Nikolao Pula, along with his CNMI Desk Officer, Frank Taitano. Pula had the opportunity to briefly observe Maria Luisa Ernest, a certified Senior and Global Professional in Human Resource and vice president of the SNMI SHRM Chapter, providing instruction to the class on Basic Customer Service.
The Workforce Readiness Initiative training program is supported by a portion of a grant from the Office of Insular Affairs under the U.S. Department of Interior for $1 million for the Labor Enhancement Program, also called the “Quick Employee Development Program.” The categories under the grant included three programs: Tourism Hospitality, Labor, and Agriculture and Aquaculture. The CNMI SHRM grant provides employment development training under the Labor aspect of the grant.
In his remarks to the trainees, Pula expressed the importance of the trainees' success in completing the sessions and entering the job market. He told the trainees, “Your success in completing this training and entering into the job market is also a success for the Labor Enhancement Program for U.S. qualified employees.”
Workforce Readiness program manager Frank Gibson and CNMI SHRM Chapter president Debra Camacho were present to greet Pula and to explain the Initiative program. Gibson told Pula that this was the third batch for his program and the largest (21 participants) to date. He also advised Pula that this program provides administrative skills training, following programs for warehousing and wait staff/food service training, in an effort to train participants for a range of occupations.
Federal Ombudsman Pam Brown and CNMI Field Representative for OIA Jeff Schorr were also present for Pula's visit, along with ELEP project coordinator and CNMI registrar Mark Rabauliman and CNMI Deputy Commerce Secretary Ivan Blanco. Rabauliman stated that the FELD program is on track and that all the sub-grantees are already on their second and third phases. He said that he is currently tabulating surveys and will be reporting on progress performances by the end of this month.
“It is always a pleasure to have our grantor representatives visit our project sites, so as to showcase federal and local partnership in enhancing our community, especially with the challenge to fill the labor pool shortage for U.S. qualified workers,” said Rabauliman. (PR)