Chairman Jose Garcia called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Committee members present were Roy Barron and Mark Gomolski. Hector Ramirez was excused. Council Representatives Manuel Gutierrez and Clara Beas-Fitzgerald were present, as well as City Representatives Mark Morgan and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
Mark moved and Roy seconded to approve the minutes of the July meeting. Motion carried unanimously. (There was not a meeting in August.)
English for Careers program through BMCC
MaryJane Bagwell, BMCC College Prep Director presented the Committee with a letter, to Congress, in support of the DACA program from BMCC President Cam Preus.
MaryJane gave information regarding what used to be called “English as a Second Language Program” that is now called “English Language Acquisition Program”. MaryJane explained this program is so much more than just learning English. This program is for people who have come from another county but have a higher level of education or career or want to obtain a higher level of education. This program allows those individuals to continue with their education or career by teaching them English that is specific to their career, thus helping them pass any exams that will allow them to enter into their career. Being bilingual is in high demand in the area so this program helps people get into these fields and helps employers hire more experienced individuals. Some much needed careers are:
- Diesel Mechanics
- Computer Science
- Office Assistants, etc
Some of these educational areas/careers can be completed in as little as six months. Classes are as small as one student per one teacher ratio. There is not a minimum amount of people that is needed to have a class, as long as that person attends class regularly. Classes range from full time to only taking one class. Night classes are also available.
The cost of this program, for the student, is $35.00 per term, which is very low. Most of the expenses are being paid for by the college. Interested persons will need to inquire at BMCC and attend orientation.
A social security # is not necessary to attend college. A SS# is only needed to get financial aid. A College ID is given to anyone who does not have a SS#.
Cinco de Mayo Committee Updates
Mark Gomolski gave updates on the Cinco de Mayo Committee/Event, to include:
- Possible meeting in October.
- Asked for volunteers/community to please get involved.
- Considering if the event should stay at Butte Park or move to EOTEC.
- Mexican Consulate General continuing to be involved.
Vice Chair Nominations
The Committee unanimously elected Mark Gomolski as Vice Chair.
The Committee unanimously elected Jose Garcia as Chair.
High School Mentoring
Mark Gomolski encouraged individuals to volunteer for the Mentoring Program at Hermiston High School. Volunteers are asked to help students fill out financial aid information, get letters of recommendation, preparing them for college and for the future. Volunteers can participate as much as they’d like, or as seldom as 1xper month. It only takes a couple of hours of your time to help students.
School District Updates
Maria Duron from the Hermiston School District gave information regarding upcoming events throughout the school district, to include:
- Financial Aid information and prep
- Homework Club
- Parents Make the Difference Night
- Participation is graduation ceremony survey
- Graphic Media Designer employment opportunity
Kelly Martinez from the Hermiston Library gave information regarding:
- A new program that allows library card holders to view up to 60 different Magazines each month for free.
- Library cards are free. A photo ID and proof of address is needed for a library card.
- Upcoming book sale.
Mark Morgan gave information regarding:
- 5 year Capital Improvement Plan for street improvements that was recently approved by City Council. Franchise Fees will increase about $4.00 per month to facilitate these improvements.
- Irrigation water runoff on 7th Highland.
- Transit Planning meeting on 9/24/17 at 4:00pm at City Hall. The Committee will discuss changing the current route.
- The City is hiring a Recycled Water Utility Worker. Great opportunity. City pays for all training to further education.
The Committee requested that the City Council write a letter to congress in support of the DACA program.
Mark Morgan stated he will present the recommendation to the Council.
Meeting Adjourned at 8:24 pm.