‘I’ve supported NMTI since Day 1’

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Posted on Oct 16 2020

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As the Northern Marianas Technical Institute explores ways of reopening its facility for staff and students, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres expects to soon receive the institution’s transition report “and we will go from there.”

Public Law 20-92, which governs the conversion of the institute into a government entity, requires NMTI to submit a transition report to the Executive Branch and Legislature and Torres said in his budget letter to the Legislature said that NMTI has not submitted the report yet. It is presumed that once the report is in, this will allow the Executive Branch to allocate funds to NMTI.

Speaking at a weekly radio news briefing, Torres stated that he has been a big supporter of NMTI since Day 1, and that he has been on the case since the opening of the institute that the late businessman Anthony Pellegrino and Vic Cepeda started. Torres added that he has been happy with how far the institute has been doing, and the growth that they’ve had.

As of Tuesday, Torres stated that there are a few things that they need to take into consideration while they wait for NMTI to submit their transition report. Torres recognizes that the institution can’t transition to online classes because NMTI is a trade school and its students cannot “easily transition” into online courses to acquire their certificate.

As soon as the administration receives NMTI’s transition report, Torres said that they will go from there.

At the NMTI board meeting last Oct. 9, only Richard Kautz and Deron Mendiola, two of the seven board members, along with NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres, were present. The meeting had to be canceled due to a lack of quorums. Another board meeting will be scheduled.

McPhetres stated in previous interviews that NMTI currently has 300 active students, but has yet to ask their 23 staff to come back due to lack of funds.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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