The Northern Marianas Technical Institute will reopen on Aug. 18 and looks to undergo many improvements before and after reopening, according to NMTI interim chief executive officer Jodina Attao.
Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Saipan at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Ballroom, where she shared details of NMTI’s “facelift project,” she described it as an effort to make long-term improvements to NMTI’s current structure and program offerings.
Part of that is that NMTI will no longer accept rolling applications throughout the year and will instead adopt the Public School System’s academic calendar. Attao explained that this is being done to enforce hard deadlines and to ensure that “people take their enrollment in the institute with more seriousness.”
Among the long-term goals for the “facelift project” is relocating classrooms in NMTI’s campus in Lower Base to be closer to workshops, increasing the institution’s reach to its target audience, continuing to build on its current offerings, and working toward shifting social and cultural attitudes toward the trade professions.
Currently, Attao said, she is in talks with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Corrections to launch an apprenticeship program that focuses on the CNMI’s underserved population, helping those involved with both OVR and DOC to increase their skillsets and to smoothly transition into becoming contributing members of society.
“What we’re trying to do is build the infrastructure so that we have a pipeline that’s developed for all [who] might be interested in contributing to our community and building the workforce,” said Attao.
Currently, NMTI’s programs include courses dedicated to building skills for trade professions in construction and automotive, electrical, and culinary lines of work.