The Northern Marianas Trades Institute is moving ahead in opening a separate facility on Saipan that would accommodate students from Tinian and Rota as it continues to expand services to the community.
NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres mentioned this as among her key accomplishment since heading the learning institution almost four years ago.
“Activity has begun with respect to facility needs by working on plans to design and construct a future career and technical education/training center [for Tinian and Rota],” said McPhetres.
“This will include living quarters for students from Rota and Tinian, classrooms and shops to accommodate all identified programs, administrative offices, a learning center, a student center, other amenities, and other campus-related needs.”
The center will be located in a 6.9-hectare public land (TR 57-3) near Saipan Southern High School in Koblerville. The Legislature approved the site allocation through a joint resolution.
NMTI is also working on the development of a five-year strategic master plan where it is expecting another increase in enrolment.
NMTI has already partnered with the CNMI State Public School System where various vocational skills will be offered to high school students, particularly those in their senior year where they could get a chance to get hired once they graduate.
NMTI has also established a working relationship with the local government—administration and Legislature—the CNMI business sector and community, and partnerships with Guam and across the mainland U.S.
Former administrators and instructors at the Northern Marianas College as well as personnel from various local industries were also hired as instructors in the different programs offered.
NMTI has also expanded its programs offered from four—automotive technology, construction technology, culinary arts, and hotel and restaurant operations—in school year 2013-2014 to 15 in SY 2017-2018.
The four programs are still being offered with the addition of adult technical high school, carpentry, electricity, electronics, electronic systems technician, professionalism heavy equipment operations, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), power generation maintenance (mechanic and electrician), and welding trades.
NMTI has also signed a memorandum of agreement with major Saipan hotels and other businesses to help with the training of their students from their qualified personnel or the use of their facilities for internship.
Various activities to increase NMTI’s revenues were also implemented like seeking donations from the local business sector through the CNMI Education Tax Credit, fundraising events, financial allocation from the local Legislature, and applying for federal grants.
Prospective students can now avail of various scholarship opportunities and financial assistance programs to help them pay for their training aside from serving as a reward in choosing the vocational trades.
The plans and other improvements helped NMTI’s enrolment skyrocket from 63 five years ago to 644 for SY 2017-2018.