Monday, January 12, 2009

The CNMI Trades Institute needs your help!

From Saipan Tribune, January 12, 2009
by Anthony Pellegrino

The Northern Marianas Trades Institute needs your help. In addition to all the wonderful support it is receiving from the community, it needs the help from people with skills and time to help the students fulfill their goals. Though it has fine instructors and willing students, NMTI needs more instructors and people's special aid in several areas. Let me explain.

The NMTI is now six months old. It is housed in a large 25,000 square foot warehouse with another 10,000 square feet of yard area located on Lower Base Drive. About 96 students are currently enrolled studying one of the following courses: carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical and sewing. As the institute continues to grow, it will offer more courses to accommodate the needs of our community. In a few weeks, it intends to begin a welding class, an automobile repair course, a small engines repair course, and a culinary class.

However as it struggles to grow and fulfill the aspirations of its students, it is discovering that many of the students have not completed their high school studies. It is the intent of NMTI to encourage these students to resume their studies toward obtaining a high school diploma while they learn their trade. But because many of the students dropped out of school or have never studied on their own, it is extremely difficult for them to study without a tutor.

Taking a GED course and trying to study by oneself is very difficult. First, many the textbooks require a high level of reading ability. Another problem is that the concepts in these textbooks are difficult to comprehend alone. Also studying alone requires a high level of determination and self-discipline. As a result many students enroll in the GED courses, but fall by the wayside in a short period.

As NMTI motivates these students to resume their academic studies, it is asking the community for volunteers once or twice a week to act as tutors to these students. The hours and days can be arranged to suit each group and tutors' needs.

What a thrill to share your experience and motivation with these students so eager to improve their lives and serve our community. You will also enrich your own life as you give to them. Please help! Remember as you give so will you receive. Make a difference by tutoring our young students!

Another appeal for help is for instructors in various trade skills. As NMTI grows, it requires more instructors to teach the many courses it is planning. It is difficult to find qualified instructors. Share your skills and knowledge with the youth of our community. Since most of the courses are taught at night, it will not interfere with any daytime job. Regardless of your trade or skill if are willing to teach, NMTI needs you and the students need you.

The NMTI is very proud to announce that it has been certified by the National Center for Construction, Education and Research, which is affiliated with the University of Florida. The NMTI is also closely affiliated with the Guam Contractors Association Trades Academy. As a result, all the textbooks we use are approved nationwide. Graduating students will be able to work anywhere in Guam, Hawaii, and the United States because of this standardization. The students can even move to another state and continue their trade education.

The benefits of using NCCER curricula includes providing a proven training program designed around national industry standards and developed by leading subject matter experts from all sectors of the construction industry. This means that the training offered is equal to the training programs in any of the 50 states.

One of the most exciting activities planned for our students is that shortly they will be soliciting maintenance work to do in our houses. NMTI has formed small groups of the more qualified students. They will solicit maintenance work in various neighborhoods. The purpose is to have the students do actual repair work on actual job sites. All the work done will be controlled by a professional supervisor. The finished work will be guaranteed as to quality and professionalism.

In this method, the students will learn quickly to do actual hands on work. The plan is to enable the student to work in the daytime and to study the theory of his trade in the evening. Also he will earn money to pay for his tuition and have pocket money. This will also create confidence in his ability so that he will learn better and faster.

Anybody is welcome to enroll in NMTI regardless of age and gender. Because our courses are designed in a special manner, a student can enter anytime and also stop for a while if needed. This allows the student to juggle his personal life and study. NMTI does not focus on attendance but rather on attaining competence.

Encourage your sons or daughters or anyone you feel desires to learn a trade or skill. Even you! This is your institute with one goal-to improve the work skills and work ethics of our local people.

The Northern Marianas Trades Institute is proud to be an integral part of Saipan's training community, using local talent to train more local talent and strengthening our skilled work force, both in quantity and quality.

Please stop by and offer any assistance you can or become a student yourself or recommend someone to become a student. Let us begin our journey to economic independence and pride in the workplace.

Pellegrino is a longtime businessman in the CNMI and is the former President of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know this would be a great big step for the people here in the CNMI especially the indigenous people. We have been depending on someone from the outside of our beautiful island to come and do the jobs for us! Now we can learn what we thought we'd find from some other country. Thank you Mr. Pellegrino for your big help!