Sablan announces $40,000 OIA grant for Northern Marianas College

Apr 11, 2012

Saipan, CNMI – Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan announced today that the Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs has approved the award of a nearly $40,000 Technical Assistance Program grant to Northern Marianas College. The funds will support development of a five-year strategic plan for NMC by the College administration and its partners in business and government. Congressman Sablan was joined by NMC President Dr. Sharon Hart in publicly thanking Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anthony M. Babauta for his decision to support the planning, which is part of NMC’s continuing accreditation efforts.

“Assistant Secretary Babauta called me this morning to relay the good news that he had approved NMC’s grant application in its entirety,” said Sablan. “He and I have spoken previously about the request, and I explained to him how important the continued success of Northern Marianas College is to our entire community – businesses and individuals alike.

“The Assistant Secretary has shown his agreement with this assessment through the approval of this application, even at a time when discretionary federal funds are increasingly difficult to obtain.”

Dr. Hart thanked Assistant Secretary Babauta and emphasized that the grant is aligned with efforts by the Office of Insular Affairs to promote economic growth and development in the islands.  “As Northern Marianas College develops its new strategic plan, it is imperative that we work closely with the business community and government leaders to ensure we are fulfilling our role to help meet the workforce needs of the local economy.

“This grant will help the College engage business and government leaders in data-driven planning that will ultimately position higher education as the engine for economic growth in the CNMI,” President Hart explained.

Congressman Sablan congratulated the Board of Regents, President Hart, and the entire faculty and staff of the college for the successful application. “The collective effort of many individuals at the college led to a well-written, compelling grant application which will pay dividends for years to come both for the institution and for our community. I congratulate everyone who contributed to this successful effort.”

The grant will fund an inclusive planning process that will engage business and government leaders in assessing the workforce and training needs of the community, forecasting future workforce and economic trends, and discussing how the College can promote economic growth in the Commonwealth.  The final product of the process will be a Strategic Plan that will include values, a new vision and mission, and between three and seven strategic goals and supporting priority initiatives. The plan will serve as a road map for the College in its ongoing efforts to build local capacity to satisfy the workforce needs of the Northern Mariana economy. The plan will also help the College meet accreditation standards of educational quality and focus on data-driven, continuous quality improvement.