The Northern Marianas Trades Institute’s Culinary Arts Program recently held its final exam at the Hyatt Regency Saipan. The exam held on Feb. 25 is part of the class’ requirement in which students enrolled in the program present their finished dish or “plating practicum.”
Eight students went through the rigorous exam, which started by creating a menu suitable for high-end clientele. The parameters in which the students were judged on included taste, presentation, and placement of each portion of the dish. Tyrell Pauling, director of Food & Beverage for the Hyatt and lead instructor for the NMTI program says, “This final practicum exposes our students to the high demands of the culinary trade. After successfully completing this final exam as part of their class requirement, they will then be required to undergo 240 hours of on the job training. In order to successfully earn a certificate in our program, students undergo a full 324 contact hours, thus indicating to prospective employers this was not a fly-by-night experience.”
The program participants had the experience of learning from professionals. The eight students were taught by familiar names in the culinary arts locally. Aside from Pauling, students underwent classroom lectures from the likes of chef de cuisine Inas Hocog and sous chef Benjamin Babauta. These are two local boys that went abroad in pursuit of culinary credentials and are now giving back to their community via being instructors at NMTI.
NMTI would like to note that the culinary arts and hospitality program are two of the largest programs in demand at the institute. Prior to these eight students heading toward their “OJT,” 13 students have earned certificates since Pauling’s program started. Eighteen students have passed the pre-requisites and will be starting the program on March 14. There are currently 13 students enrolled in our “Prep for Success” class and are schedule to be the very next cohort to undergo the rigorous culinary program. Pauling further notes, “The courses are rapidly increasing in popularity that we’ve had to expand our NMTI training facility to accommodate the ongoing demands of our students.”
Also in attendance at this event was NMTI’s chief executive officer Agnes M. McPhetres. McPhetres said, “NMTI stands by its product. We produce trained individuals in their respective career choices. The hands on approach to education are what separate us from other academic offering currently available to our residents. We ask our residents to take the time and find out for themselves how many hours of actual hands on practicum students are performing. Our students don’t just “shadow” professionals in the field; they perform the actual tasks asked of them as they were in a real world situation.”
McPhetres further said, “NMTI would like to take this opportunity to invite other prospective students that are aspiring for careers in such technical skills as automotive technology, culinary arts, electrical, carpentry, masonry, air-conditioning, and welding. As the institute was intended to meet the technical training needs of our Northern Marianas residents, we encourage interested individuals to visit our campus located in Lower Base as our resident faculty can provide career counseling in their respective area of interest.”
The institute takes pride in the quality of the education students receive as many of the instructors are familiar faces within our community. These are qualified individuals, whom are well respected in their respective fields. NMTI recognizes that its successes are a result of its partnerships and recognizes the CNMI Department of Labor and HANMI for continuing to refer prospective clients and would encourage other stakeholders seeking qualified employees to refer potential employees to the institute for further professional development in their areas of interest. For more information on the various trades offered, please visit the NMTI website at www.nmticnmi.com or call (670) 235-6684.