The Northern Marianas Trades Institute requested a revisit of an apprenticeship program at a meeting with legislators at their main facility in Lower Base last June 28.
“Certain policies that are in place, based on our interpretation, needs to be revisited,” NMTI continuing education director Ross Manglona told Saipan Tribune.
One idea that Manglona mentioned is to revisit Public Law No. 15-05, which authorizes the Northern Marianas College to establish the United States Registered Apprenticeship Training Program.
He believes that the CNMI should mirror what Guam does with the apprenticeship program; where a regulatory agency should handle regulatory business and not an educational entity.
NMTI sees that with proper handling of the apprenticeship program, the CNMI can see a constant increase in local employment.
Apprenticeship is a three-prong agreement with the individual apprentice, the business investing in the individual, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Manglona added that a fourth entity into the agreement is educational institutions like NMTI and NMC.
He said that the USDOL will determine the curriculum and whether the apprentice completes the program; then the business sector will agree to provide annual increments with the individual based on accomplishments, amount of time spent learning the selected field, and the amount of time the individual spent working with the business.
“There are 1,600 apprentice-level positions level positions out there…and NMTI nor NMC can provide everything to everything,” Manglona added.
Manglona pointed out that the one thing they can do is to tell businesses that there is an advocate, and that is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program.
P.L. 15-05 was put into law into 2006 and NMC is given the authority to create an Apprenticeship Advisory Committee for the program. It also redirected all technical trade education to the college.