NECC Administrator Goes to Washington
Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora, executive director of Northern Essex Community College’s Lawrence Campus and community relations, recently visited the White House where she participated in the National Credential and Skills Institute which is part of the White House New Immigrant Initiative.
She attended the institute with national leaders in workforce development, education, immigration, and government, and the goal was to learn about strategies for addressing barriers that immigrants and refugees face related to credential attainment and credential recognition, particularly in the health care, IT, engineering, and education sectors.
“Over one third of all immigrants in this country have college degrees but they are disproportionately likely to be unemployed or underemployed,” said Custodia-Lora. “We’re working collectively to find solutions to these challenges.”
At the institute, Custodia-Lora reported on the work she’s been doing with PIÉS Latinos de NECC, which was created earlier this year to increase higher education attainment among Latino immigrants living in Greater Lawrence. PIÉS is focusing on helping immigrants validate and transfer foreign credits to NECC and other colleges in Massachusetts and validate their foreign degrees with job training.
“In Washington, they were especially interested in a project we are developing to provide assistance to immigrants pre-departure to the United States,” said Custodia-Lora. “We are planning to offer assessment testing in the Dominican Republic and to give people the opportunity to take NECC courses online while still in the DR.”
Custodia-Lora was recently named to the City of Boston’s Task Force on Foreign-Trained Professionals based on her work with PIÉS. She was invited to attend the institute and present as a result of her participation on this task force.
For more information on PIÉS Latinos de NECC and Northern Essex Community College’s initiatives to help immigrants gain credentials, contact Custodia-Lora at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978 738-7401.
With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. More than 7,400 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 6,700 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu.