Trade school, Kanoa Resort sign job training partnership agreement

KANOA Resort Saipan and Northern Marianas Trade Institute have signed a partnership for an on-the-job training program for NMTI culinary arts students.

NMTI human resource manager and director of student development Victor Mesta, in an interview, said Kanoa Resort “takes in our students as interns and after they complete the required training hours, they may be employed by the hotel.”

He said the trade school has also partnered with other hotels and restaurants including the Hyatt Regency Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Kensington Hotel and The Shack.

“I think NMTI is currently making progress in getting more hotels on board,” Mesta said. “More businesses are now aware that we have students getting training and are capable of assisting their businesses.”
He added, “The more participation we have the more the word goes out into the community, and the better results we’re going to have.”

Glenn Policare, Kanoa Resort director of operations, said their partnership with NMTI is “an amazing opportunity for developing students for the hospitality workforce.”

NMTI provides the students 180 classroom hours while Kanoa Resort provides 240 on-the-job training hours.

“It is really an opportunity for organizations like Kanoa to get the best of the best out there,” Policare said. “NMTI has an amazing educational aspect to their program, and we also train the students. Then when they are done, it’s really the students’ choice as to where they want to go. But of course we want to absorb those who have trained here into our workforce.”

He added, “The kids that have come here and have been trained here are paid — it is on-the-job training. They are paid to help us out, and get paid to learn.”

Kanoa Resort Saipan staffers Ric Cruz, and Archie Ajoste spoke of how the program helped them.

A front desk staffer, Cruz said: “I highly recommend enrolling at NMTI for its hospitality course. Especially when you’re getting into a trade that you have little information about. NMTI basically helped me with that.”

He said he participated in NMTI’s six-month acceleration program, and obtained certification from the American Hotel and Lodging Institute or AHLEI which is recognized nationwide.

For Archie Ajoste, the training program allowed him to move to a supervisory position.

“I’ve been working in the hospitality industry for eight years, and I wanted to move up, and NMTI gave me the opportunity to do it. It was easy, but I still had to learn a lot to move up.”

He added, “NMTI’s training gave me the push I needed. I recommend it to other people.”

The Hyatt Regency Saipan is NMTI’s main sponsor in the hospitality industry training program. Hyatt provides hospitality instructors for the NMTI classrooms.

Through the program, students are getting hands-on experience, said Valentina Habermann, the Hyatt’s marketing communications manager.

“NMTI gets student trained and placed in the location where they will be employed,” she added.

“The relationship with NMTI is a win-win situation for the hospitality industry as NMTI’s mission is to train and educate those in the local community in trade skills. We are helping educate and train our local labor pool to allow them to go forward in a global economy.”

Habermann thinks it is important to train the local workforce amid the CNMI labor crisis.

“The goal is to have our local community members join the workforce.”

According to NMTI’s Victor Mesta, “I think it is very important to train our local workforce, to get them ready to take the place of contract workers so they don’t become welfare recipients. We feel very strongly that they have something to offer and they need to take charge of their islands.”

Kanoa Resort human resource staffer Kanani Sablan said the partnership with NMTI is something that local residents should take advantage of.

“I think it is an excellent program and an amazing opportunity for people — it’s another option to gain the experience, education and knowledge about specific skills that are very important.”

This article was originally authored by Bryan Manabat of the Marianas Variety and published on September 1st, 2016. All rights, recognition and acknowledgment belong to the author and the Marianas Variety.