SAIPAN,05 MAY 2017 (MARIANAS VARIETY)— CNMI Governor Ralph Torres said he may visit the Micronesia islands to hold a job fair and try to recruit potential employees to comply with the current federal mandate to have “zero” workers on CW permits by Dec. 2019.
In an interview on Thursday, he said workforce was among the issues that he and the leaders of Guam, the FSM, Palau and the Marshall islands discussed during the recent Micronesian Islands Forum on Guam.
Torres said these islands also have workforce issues, but they agreed that holding a job fair could give interested Micronesian residents more job opportunities.
Citizens of the Freely Associated States — Palau, the Marshalls and the FSM: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap — can work in the U.S. and its territories.
“So it’s a great thing for us to go down to the Micronesia islands and talk to potential employees,” Torres said.
In a separate interview on Wednesday, businessman Jim Arenovski said hiring from the FSM and other Freely Associated States may not be enough.
Arenovski, whose Islands Training Solutions trains local workers, said the Micronesian islands have a small economy and do not have enough workers to meet the CNMI’s needs.
Arenovski said hiring and bringing in workers from the U.S. mainland is also difficult because of a potential U.S. worker concerns regarding housing, medical facilities and utilities in the CNMI.
He said CNMI employers have already tried recruiting from the other islands and the U.S.
The governor said he cannot blame U.S. lawmakers for expressing concern about reports regarding illegal workers at the Imperial Pacific construction site.
“We responded to their questions on how the CNMI government is handling these issues. We did not deny these problems. We acknowledged them but we also pointed out that there are good things happening here. And we are addressing the issues [through] legislation.”….PACNEWS [/restrict]