Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 22 Aug 2019 12am







    Wednesday, August 21, 2019-3:10:04P.M.






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NMTI to relocate to new site, says CEO

THE Northern Marianas Trades Institute will relocate to a new site, NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said.

NMTI’s current location in Lower Base is not suitable for the institute.

“When it rains, we’re flooded — we’re in a wetland area and we shouldn’t be there,” she added.

Click to enlarge
Rotarian Agnes McPhetres, the  chief executive officer of the Northern Marianas Trades Institute, talks about its relocation plan.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

McPhetres said the governor will designate a new site for NMTI which is now a government entity by virtue of Public Law 20-92.

She said they are now looking for federal grants for the planning stage and the construction of a new facility.

Among the possible new sites are the auditorium across from Coral Ocean Golf Resort and a portion of unused public property near the new soccer field in Koblerville.

Also being considered is the site of Northern Marianas College- Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services Center for Agricultural Development in As Perdido. The center, for its part, will move to Kagman.

McPhetres noted that there is also a plan to relocate Hopwood Middle School to the quarantine facility of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources in As Perdido. The quarantine facility will relocate to Kagman.

“If NMTI moves to As Perdido we would be close to a school [Hopwood] so we can also serve its students,” McPhetres said.

Another possible site for the new NMTI is the public property near the old airport in Koblerville.

However, McPhetres said “there’s no fixed site yet,” adding that the NMTI will be looking at all the possible new sites.

McPhetres reiterated that she will retire from NMTI once she completes all her ongoing projects.

She is also hoping that most of the CW-1 funds will go to NMTI.

“We’re the only one that actually provides training on heavy trades. NMC provides very light trades and you don’t really need much money for that,” she said.

McPhetres, former president of Northern Marianas College, said 98 percent of its students are eligible for various financial assistance under local and federal programs.

“They have lots of money. All they need are books. But if it’s a trades school, you’ll need an instructor, tools, equipment and a good shop,” she added.

McPhetres thanked the collaboration and support of the private sector, especially for NMTI’s culinary class.

She said collaborating with private sector is the best approach toward training the islands’ human resources.

“The private sector has to dictate what our curriculum should be and not us dictating to the private sector,” she added.