Two years after the CNMI Department of Commerce held a job fair, the 12th Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council wants to know whether any of the 900 or so applicants have been employed.
In an Aug. 26 letter to Commerce Secretary Sixto Igisomar and CNMI Department of Labor Secretary Gilbert San Nicolas, Municipal Council chair Ramon B. Camacho asked for an update on the job fair that was funded through a $1-million grant from the Department of the Interior.
“Almost two years later, we have not seen any headline news about the real or lasting impact of the job fairs. For instance, how many of the 900 applicants have been hired or rejected. Of those hired, were they placed in job-appropriate categories that they chose or were they placed where they were deemed needed by the employer?”
Camacho also asked Igisomar and San Nicolas whether the two government agencies keep track of unemployment and underemployment data in the CNMI.
“What impact has this job fair contributed, if any, to the private workforce? In this regard, I respectfully request both the [departments] of Commerce and…Labor to provide reliable statistics and information on the sustainability of the 2011 job fairs and whether or not your respective departments will be sponsoring another job fair in 2013 and when.”
Quoting Saipan Tribune’s Oct. 22, 2011, issue, Camacho said: “Our government leaders were understandably ecstatic that day too. For example, our governor was quoted: ‘I’m happy that they’re here to apply for jobs. But I’m also quite disturbed that they’re here because they didn’t have a job,’ acting governor Eloy S. Inos told Saipan Tribune at the Department of Commerce’s job expo held at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.”
Camacho also alluded to the optimism of Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta, House Committee on Commerce and Tourism chair Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan), Commerce’s Central Statistics Division director Ivan Blanco, and Commerce’s staff David Maratita following the 2011 job fair.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, 822 applicants showed up for the job expo that sought to place qualified U.S. citizen or U.S.-eligible workers.
The job fair saw the participation of 30 employers: Hyatt Regency Saipan, Saipan World Resort, Aqua Resort Club, Hafa Adai Beach Hotel, Docomo, Moylan’s Insurance, Triple J Enterprises, Star Marianas Inc., and MCV Broadband, among others.