40 participating in two-day training this week, another two-day training next week
A total of 40 participants from various government entities and private companies are attending a two-day training this week at Aqua Resort Club on resilient coastal construction, with more attending another two-day training cycle next week.
Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo, who is coordinator of the CNMI Infrastructure and Recovery Program, said the training that kicked off last Tuesday is an inaugural training, and should be the first of many trainings in the CNMI. “We’re looking at many more. We already have in the planning stages other types of trainings that are being requested for by our CNMI stakeholders,” she said.
Tuesday’s training attendees included staff from the Department of Public Works, the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., representatives from the CNMI Zoning Board, appraisers, engineering firms, and construction firms. This week’s training ended yesterday, Nov. 10. There will be another two-day training on Nov. 15 to 16, also at the Aqua Resort Club.
The two-day Coastal Construction Training this week was supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its Mitigation Assessment Team and Interagency Recovery Coordination team.
Gregory Wilson, who is an emergency management specialist for FEMA, said the trainings will teach attendees coastal construction techniques and that the included course materials are specifically tailored for the CNMI. Wilson said he and a team of colleagues visited the CNMI last year, where they made observations and put together reports on the CNMI’s unmet needs in regards to coastal construction and future projects to build up the CNMI’s resilience to natural disasters. Wilson added that all training participants will receive certificates of attendance, and that there will be an assessment at the end of the training.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the trainings are meaningful opportunities to speed up the process of getting projects going and to continue building on the CNMI’s partnership with FEMA. “[The goal] is to expedite the process to help all the other agencies and to work with FEMA,” he said. “We have so many projects and so much money that we need to spend.”
Dr. Olivia A. Scriven, who is a federal disaster recovery officer for FEMA’s Interagency Recovery Coordination team, said the goal of this week’s training and all future trainings in the CNMI will be to help build strong infrastructure in the Commonwealth and to further develop the CNMI government’s capacity to carry out infrastructure projects.
“Our goal is to work with the CNMI to build a strong infrastructure to sustain what’s being done today for the long term. Areas that they have identified [include]…capacity developing, grants management, project management, and financial management. These areas become important not only for administering the funds but also for helping to understand how to manage a project life cycle and do that in a systematic way in order to benefit the citizens and move those projects along,” she said.