Marianas College Vying For $2-4 Million Apprenticeship Grant

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NMC ‘taking a leadership role’ in workforce development in CNMI

By Dennis B. Chan

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, March 9, 2015) – Northern Marianas College president Dr. Sharon Hart says they are "on target" for the U.S. Department of Labor’s apprenticeship grant due in April this year.

The college is "taking a leadership role," she said at a recent board meeting.

The CNMI is vying for the $2- to $4-million grant, with NMC taking a leadership role in the grant writing.

The grant is among the $100 million in grants being offered by Labor to expand registered apprenticeship programs across the United States.

The $100-million initiative is intended to expand registered apprenticeship programs over the country in industries like healthcare, biotechnology, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.

This falls in line with the workforce development initiatives that they shared with the Legislature in last week’s roundtable meeting.

Hart said they and other institutions have helped Labor with data on the CNMI workforce and its needs.

The Commonwealth foreign worker program is set to end in 2019.

According to dean of administration David Attao, the total estimated cost for the college to train individuals for job zones provided by CNMI Labor would be $68,871,000.

For Labor, their costs to train these individuals is estimated to be $144,445,444.

The top positions held by CW workers are maids and housekeepers, general and operations managers, janitors and cleaners, waiter and waitresses, accountants and auditors, retail salespersons, security guards, cashiers, cooks, cement masons and concrete finishers, carpenters, among others.

Attao, in his presentation to lawmakers, pointed out how "NMC remains responsive to community needs"—with its bachelor’s degree in business administration, education, and associate degrees in nursing, criminal justice, and liberal arts.

Also, NMC’s Community Development Institute helps nursing students in their NCLEX test preparation, and health careers. It also provides community service and personal enrichment courses for English and other language development, and other cultural and community courses.

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