The Northern Marianas Trades Institute graduated its largest class in history last week.
NMTI graduated a total 147 students, issued a total of 195 trade certificates, and awarded 21 vocational technical high school diplomas to adults during last week’s graduation.
Certificates of completion were awarded to the Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, Construction Trades, and Hotel and Restaurant Operations Programs, and, according to NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres, the 2018 NMTI graduation is the largest group in its history.
“It is a direct correlation to our need for skilled individuals. Regardless of the CW extension given by U.S. Public Law 115-218, it is imperative that we continue to bridge the workforce gap or we’ll be no closer to it at the end of the 10-year allowance,” she said.
Noting that some students received multiple certificates, NMTI director of student curriculum Ross Manglona attributed the “exponential” growth of NMTI to public and private partnerships established with the institution.
Labor Secretary Vicky I. Benavente was this year’s keynote speaker. She spoke of the importance of growing the CNMI workforce through training, noting that the 2018 graduating class is representative of the resident workforce responding to the community.
Adult Technical Vocational High School speaker Karleen R. Lizama said NMTI was her means to improve herself even more.
Partnering with the Public School System and the Northern Marianas College, a statement from NMTI notes that the continuous growth of the institute is reflective of their goals.
“Last year 91 students were certified under NMTI’s various programs. This graduation is approximately 37 percent larger than last year,” said Jeannette Villagomez, NMTI director of Student Development. “NMTI is an excellent option for our people who prefer a hands-on trades education versus a standard academic education.”