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Cybersecurity operation progressing towards launch

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(Press Release) — The CNMI’s first cybersecurity firm is on target to launch in the second quarter of 2020. The Latte Training Academy Inc and InteliSecure Inc. have partnered to bring a new economic driver to the CNMI. Cybersecurity is a growing and in-demand market segment within the technology industry; however the industry has suffered from a shortage of qualified professionals.

“What we recognized is that once professionals enter the tech industry, they realize rapid career progression or the benefit of being in a high demand marketplace. With the US tech industry growing the way it is and with a push to in-source these positions back to the U.S., the CNMI is well positioned to bring these jobs to the CNMI” says Juan-Carlos Benitez, LTA President.

The Latte Training Academy Inc. has offered CompTIA certifications for the past four years, however the CNMI’s marketplace has offered minimal opportunity for its residents to pursue a career in Information Technology. With the Torres administration looking for ways to diversify the CNMI’s economic base, the administration has aggressively pushed for a technology sector. In response to this push, the Latte Training Academy developed its Marianas Emerging Enterprise Training or MEET program which is centered on bringing new emerging industries to the CNMI. The program was developed internally at LTA and markets benefits of operating in the CNMI to specific industry clusters that could benefit from setting up operations in the CNMI.

“The MEET program has proven to be an exceptional framework. LTA leverages its network of professionals who clearly understand the CNMI’s economy to market directly to specific companies. The program targets mid-sized companies within targeted industry clusters with at least five years of annual growth. For the pilot program, we tapped former Commerce Secretary Michael Ada who resides in Colorado where there is a large tech base, to meet with InteliSecure, Inc. in November 2019. A month later, their chief financial officer and vice presidents were on-island to assess the CNMI as an operation center and in January of 2020, they secured the space and are currently renovating” said Benitez.

The MEET program partners private firms with the Latte Training Academy to provide the specific training to fulfill its operational needs. It requires that participating firms provide starting wages at least 30 percent higher than the minimum wage, requires promotional opportunities to a minimum of 30 percent of their CNMI-based employees within two years and requires that all positions are full-time. Firms can avail themselves of access to a U.S. workforce in the Asia/Pacific time zone, training support services and a competitive landscape that minimizes poaching of its workforce from competing firms.

“As the inaugural participant of this program, we are extremely excited with the progress that InteliSecure is making towards launching their Marianas operations. The Latte Training Academy is currently running an Information Technology Fundamentals certification course and will be launching its second cohort in late February to fill the employment demand for InteliSecure. With the amount of tech that is required to support their operations, procuring the technology and getting it set up will happen concurrent to the renovations of their office” said LTA board member Ed Arriola Jr.

For his part, Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman has expressed full support of the organization and its programs.

“The efforts that LTA has made to bring not only a new industry, but the jobs that come with it to the CNMI is admirable. The tech industry is something that leaves no environmental footprint and brings sustainable jobs which are not impacted by the external dynamics which impact our other industries. It also offers our younger workforce a career path that was not otherwise available in the CNMI. For our part, I am seeking ways to help LTA grow this program and help our community develop new industries and jobs. I am also fully aware that they developed the program without any government assistance, so my intent is not to get involved with the operations, but rather work with local and federal partners to see how we can help LTA grow the program” said Rabauliman.

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