CUC to expand hiring of CW workers by just a few

But says CW workers’ efforts will be to continue to develop US, local staff

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. will continue to expand the Commonwealth-Only Transitional Worker Program (CW) by just a few, according to CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho.

Camacho said the CW workers’ efforts will be to continue to develop the U.S. local staff of CUC.

“I don’t know the exact details (number of renewed CW workers) right now but our continued efforts obviously is to replace them,” he said during an interview with Saipan Tribune shortly after the proclamation signing for CNMI Public Power Week last Thursday.

Camacho said they are extending their appreciation to Gov. Ralph DLG. and his committee who put a lot of work in trying to get that CW extension law accomplished.

Last August, CUC listed it has 20 foreign workers. Ten have CW visas, while 10 others have H1-B visas. Most of them are with CUC’s Power Generation Division.

Camacho disclosed in that same period that seven other foreign workers who have CW-1 visas, who are all assigned in power generation, have stopped working while their CW-1 applications are in process.

In his speech during Thursday’s proclamation signing, Camacho said in their efforts in continuing to prepare for the future, last week several power generation trades personnel graduated from the Northern Marianas Trades Institute with gained skills in electrical, welding, and power generation maintenance.

He said CUC is also looking to have their linemen undergo a training program to become journeymen, recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We refuse to quit. We will continue to be ready and even more so to be more typhoon prepared!” Camacho said.

He said CNMI Public Power Week is aimed to help customers, who are their stakeholders, understand how they can better engage with their community-owned utility and benefit from all its offerings.

“Just three weeks ago, Mother Nature, through Typhoon Mangkhut, reminded us who was in charge,” Camacho said, citing that Saipan, Tinian, and Rota experienced its worst wrath and destruction.

“It brought back memories of Typhoon Soudelor three years ago,” he said.

But CUC’s power crew, Camacho said, the power generation and power distribution personnel, and linemen, and all the support staff in human resources, procurement, administration, accounting, meter readers, and others are “even more resilient today as evident in the quick restoration of power services following Mangkhut’s destruction.”

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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