Second group of job-seekers complete SHRM grant program


The second group of the SHRM Workforce Readiness Initiative. From left, Denise Montenegro, instructor; John Omar, Christine Tangcoy, Shanae Shiprit, Leilani Borja, Christine Francisco, VickyMarie Espayo, Kathleen Beri, Tito Francisco; and Frank Gibson, program manager. (Contributed Photo)  The Society for Human Resource Management’s Workforce Readiness Initiative graduated its second group of trainees on June 2, completing a week of job preparation and wait staff skills in their efforts to find jobs in the CNMI’s hotel and restaurant industry.

This group of job seekers, referred by the CNMI Department of Labor and the Workforce Investment Agency, received 40 hours of training during the week of May 29 to June 2, with direct food service and wait staff training, plus the food handler class from the Division of Environmental Health to obtain their food handlers certification.

“This was a good program with employable work skills training,” said Frank Gibson, Initiative program manager for SHRM. “The applicants 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 as waiters and waitresses.”

The second Initiative program participants were Kathleen Beri, Leilani Borja, VickyMarie Espayos, Christine Francisco, Tito Francisco, John Omar, Shanae Shiprit, and Christine Tangcoy.

The wait staff program included job preparation classes on job applications and résumés, job interviews, equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment, and employer expectations. Skills training classes were provided on customer service, four classes of basic restaurant services that included food and beverage services, and the food handlers certification class.

Gibson said the success of the program was also due to the professional skills and the interest of the instructors. “I would like to thank SHRM members Polly DLG Masga from PIC, Jim Arenovsky from Delta Management, Malou Ernest from Tan Holdings, and Josephine Mesta and Denise Montenegro from Hyatt Regency Saipan, who worked with the participants to prepare them for employment. Special thanks are owed to Melil Ngirausui from the Division of Environmental Health for the food handler certification training. Eric Plinske of StayWell Insurance volunteered his time to assist with mock job interviews. I appreciate the business community’s willing 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 to benefit the community started on April 16 with a one-week warehouseman training program and will continue on June 25 with a program for front desk clerk/receptionist/administrative clerk. The program will run Monday through Friday, June 29.

SHRM’s role in administering this grant through its Workforce Readiness Initiative will be to facilitate the preparation of unemployed U.S. qualified workers through job preparation and skills training to be better qualified to enter the CNMI job market.

SHRM seeks the help of the business community to make this program a success and asks that businesses notify the Workforce Readiness Initiative of types of staff that they might need, so that the Initiative can arrange training programs to help fill these needs. SHRM also asks community businesses to work with the Initiative to place the people trained by the various programs into their organizations.

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. 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

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

This program is supported by federal funds in the amount of $102,000 under the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, CNMI Economic and Labor Enhancement Program through a Sub-grant award from the CNMI Department of Commerce. (SHRM)

Jun Dayao Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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