USDOE Awards NMC $21.9M

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NORTHERN Marianas College Interim President Frankie Eliptico on Thursday said NMC will receive $21.9 million from the Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education or IHE program of the U.S. Department of Education.

The funds will go a long way to assist in NMC’s recovery efforts as we build modern, state-of-the-art, and resilient buildings and facilities,” Eliptico said, adding that the USDOE grant was “historic.”

The department awarded a total of $155 million in federal assistance to 13 states affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and to the CNMI, the three main islands of which were hit by Typhoon Mangkhut and Super Typhoon Yutu in September-October 2018. NMC and seven other higher education institutions are receiving funds from the Emergency Assistance to IHE program with NMC receiving the highest amount.

We know that full recovery from natural disasters can be a long and difficult process for everyone involved,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “Through our various grant programs, we will continue to come alongside state and local leaders and assist in their efforts to rebuild, recover, and allow the learning process to continue for students and educators who may still be dealing with the trauma of these difficult events.”

Super Typhoon Yutu destroyed 37 of 39 classrooms at NMC. In addition, the college lost computers and valuable laboratory equipment. Its bookstore, vehicles, and other equipment were also damaged.

NMC students are currently attending classes in temporary classrooms built by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Despite the overwhelming damage from Super Typhoon Yutu, NMC employees have been working extremely hard to ensure that students continue to receive a high-quality education and excellent student services,” Eliptico said. “The grant helps to boost morale on campus and sends a strong message to students that a new NMC is indeed coming.”

Eliptico said the college is pursuing more funds to pay for all the buildings it needs to fully recover from Super Typhoon Yutu. He said NMC has submitted grant applications to the Economic Development Administration, and other federal programs. The college is also seeking funds from the Community Development Block-Grant Disaster Recovery program and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Eliptico acknowledged the NMC staff, the Board of Regents, the office of U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the Office of the Governor, and other officials and agencies that provided support to NMC in the grant application process.

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