Judging from this fiscal year’s budget, the CNMI will need to postpone the implementation of a complete One Stop Shop program as envisioned and required by the Workforce Investment Act of the Federal Government and instead will opt to offer its certain components.
In an interview with Felix Nogis, Executive Director of the Job Training Partnership Act, he said because of budgetary constraints he is not optimistic that CNMI is in the position to offer the complete One Stop Shop this year.
“We just don’t have the funding for that. We cannot pay for the rental and for that matter, to bring all these government agencies in one venue,” he said.
The One Stop Shop is an ambitious effort led by the Federal government to gather government offices and together provide the public with work force training. The U.S. Workforce Investment Act hopes to wean welfare program recipients and for them to find gainful employment through the One Stop Shop.
In particular, JTPA will work with agencies like the Northern Marianas College, Department of Labor and Immigration, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Public School System.
An invitation was also extended to the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands to participate in this program.
But with the funding problem, the CNMI was given the green light by the Federal government to implement only certain components of the program.
Nogis said the participating states and territories in the Pacific region have aired their funding limitation to implement the One Stop Shop in its entirety with the Federal government.
“The U.S. Labor and Immigration has given us the exemption and maybe we should offer certain components,” he said.
A list of nominees for the program’s board will be submitted to Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio next month. Tenorio will appoint members of board who will oversee the planning and operations of the CNMI’s One Stop Shop.