As part of the effort to recognize the vital role that Registered Apprenticeships play in providing opportunities to the people of the CNMI by allowing apprentices to earn while they learn and preparing a pathway to good, quality jobs and well-paying careers, Governor Arnold I. Palacios proclaimed the week of November 13-19, 2023, as National Apprenticeship Week.
“Registered Apprenticeship programs are a proven way to train a skilled workforce and meet the changing needs of our economy,” said Governor Palacios. “During National Apprenticeship Week, we encourage employers and job seekers to learn more about the benefits of participating in a Registered Apprenticeship program.”
Registered Apprenticeship programs offer a variety of benefits and incentives to employers and apprentices, including a structured training program that meets the specific needs of the employer, on-the-job training and experience, a pipeline of qualified workers, increased productivity, and the opportunity to earn while they learn.
Geraldine B. Sasamoto, the Northern Marianas College State Apprenticeship Expansion (SAE) Program Manager said that the Registered Apprenticeship program plays a role in cultivating a resilient, homegrown workforce.
“By blending education and hands-on training, we’re nurturing local talent to meet our community’s specific needs without leaving the CNMI,” Sasamoto said. “With the imminent formalization of the State Registered Apprenticeship to come, the aim is to establish the program as a practical tool for our industries, as well as empowering our own and ensuring a skilled workforce rooted in the CNMI.”
“Apprenticeships are not just training programs, they are cornerstones to building a skilled and adaptable and as our favorite word, resilient workforce,” CNMI Department of Labor Secretary Leila Staffler said. “In our rapidly evolving economy, where technology and innovation continue to redefine industries, apprenticeships serve as a linchpin to ensure that our workforce remains at the forefront of competitiveness in the sea.”
Joe C. Guerrero, Saipan Chamber of Commerce Board Chair and the owner of Naked Fish Bar and Grill said that the registered apprenticeship program in the CNMI is great for businesses like his, and that there’s multiple opportunities within the program.
“I, along with the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, fully support the apprenticeship program and have been meeting with the Department of Labor and her team to really come together and see how the business community can really help these programs flourish,” Guerrero said. “I’m very motivated not only as a sponsor of this program, but as my role in the chamber. I'm really passionate about pushing and building opportunities from here.”
Emma Perez, Interim Operations Director of Marianas Alliance Of Non-Governmental Organizations (MANGO) and co-founder of 500 Sails encourages the business community to join the registered apprenticeship program.
“Why is [apprenticeship] important? Because people can get skilled,” Perez said. “Let's figure it out and get these resources to get our people trained and in good jobs and move forward.”