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Monday, April 21, 2014

SHRM training program graduates food service, wait staff job seekers

The seventh group of the SHRM Workforce Readiness Initiative. (Contributed Photo) A new group of job seekers completed the Society for Human Resource Management’s Workforce Readiness Initiative on Sept. 28 in preparation for entering the CNMI job market. These graduates comprise the seventh group of trainees completing the Initiative’s program, receiving a week of job preparation and food service/wait staff skills to provide them assistance in finding employment in the CNMI’s hotel and restaurant industry. This group of job seekers, referred by the CNMI Department of Labor and the Workforce Investment Act Office, received direct food service and wait staff training, in addition to job search skill training during the week of Sept. 24 to 28. The course also included the food handler class from the Division of Environmental Health and the attainment of their food handler’s certification.

“There are advertisements in the newspapers almost every day for waiters, waitresses, and food service workers. We also work with the hotels to help them fill their continuing needs for new and replacement staff. The SHRM Initiative program has been very successful in helping our students get a start in those job focuses. It prepares them for the job search and provided them with employable work skills training,” said Frank Gibson, Initiative program manager for SHRM. “This was a good group of applicants. They were interested and enthusiastic, showed up on time, and participated well. They received good solid training from knowledgeable and experienced instructors from the business community. They will all do well in hospitality and food service jobs.”

The seventh Initiative program participants were Antonette Guerrero, Thelma Kaipat, Joshua Mafnas, Roman Maratita, Joanna Muna, Kristen Salas, April Tumada, and Elma Yobech.

The wait staff program included job preparation classes on job applications and résumés, job interviews, equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment, job search responsibilities and employer expectations. Skills training classes were provided on customer service, two classes of basic restaurant services that included both food and beverage services, general culinary, and the food handler’s certification class.

Gibson said the students especially benefitted from the professional skills and the interest of the instructors. “I would like to thank the SHRM members, Mr. Jim Arenovsky from Delta Management, Ms. Malou Ernest from Tan Holdings and Ms. Josephine Mesta, Ms. Denise Montenegro, and Ms. Shawn Sweeney from the Hyatt Regency Saipan, who worked with the participants to prepare them for employment. Special thanks are owed to Mr. Melil Ngirausui from the Bureau of Environmental Health for the food handler certification training. I appreciate the business community’s, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s and SHRM’s continued assistance.”

The Workforce Readiness Initiative is funded by a grant awarded to the CNMI SHRM by the U.S. Department of the Interior through the CNMI Department of Commerce in support of the CNMI Economic and Labor Enhancement Program. This Initiative started on April 16 with a one-week Warehouseman training program, just recently completed this seventh program for Food Service and Wait Staff trainees, and will hold an addition five training programs this year.

The Workforce Readiness Initiative is for the benefit of unemployed U.S. qualified workers. Qualified individuals who are registered with WIA or the DOL Employment Services should contact those offices and let them know of their interest. Those who are not registered and are interested in joining one of the Initiative programs should immediately register with WIA and express their interest. All interested candidates should sign up with WIA to allow them to help employers with funding of Initiative graduates. Interested individuals can also contact Gibson by e-mail at hrsupportcnmi@gmail.com.

Although the Initiative does not guarantee a job for every participant, it will make every effort to get each graduate employed. Several companies have already committed to accepting Initiative graduates and the Initiative will continue to source jobs through its SHRM-member companies and other employers. Companies interested in considering Initiative graduates can also contact Gibson at hrsupportcnmi@gmail.com.

This program is supported by federal funds in the amount of $102,000 under the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, CNMI Economic and Labor Enhancement Program through a sub-grant award to the CNMI Chapter of the Society of Human Resources from the CNMI Department of Commerce. The CNMI SHRM Initiative is managed by HR Support, CNMI, a CNMI-licensed Human Resource Management consulting and training company. (SHRM)

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