Delegate Kilili and Gov. Torres want a 10-year extension of the CW program plus increasing the current CW cap to 18,000. Yet our unemployed locals of nearly 10,000 are not being address.
Not once did Torres or Kilili even mentioned that let’s take care of our people first who are jobless. I guess they are thinking that those10,000 unemployed are in good hands (Food stamp, supplemental security income, etc..).
In my opinion, members of the Saipan Chambers of Commerce and most businesses do not work with the federal and local program such as the Workforce Investment Agency and the CNMI employment services. Statistics I gathered from WIA is that less than 10 percent from the businesses utilize the WIA program or referrals being made by the agencies are ignored by the businesses. And the sad part is our local leaders (Torres, Kilili and most members of the Senate and House) do nothing to protect our people.
When U.S. Congress introduced and passed U.S Public Law 110-229 in 2008, businesses were given five years to hire and or train our locals but they have failed to do their part. By early part of 2014 Kilili urged USCIS for an extension for another five years which is due to expire on Dec. 31, 2019. That’s two years and six months from now. Now Kilili and Torres are proposing to ask for an increase of the current cap for CWs to an extension of 10 more years, that will make U.S. PL 110-229, ueseless and ignored. If the CNMI is granted with their request that will be a total of 20 years that our people will be ignored and the unemployment numbers will double.
How long does it take to train an individual(s)? Three to six months for non-critical jobs and skilled jobs six to 12 months, tops. So please members of the SCC and non-members, give the kocals the opportunity to learn. I challenge all of our elected leaders from the Torres administration, Washington delegate, and members of both House and Senate to urge and encourage the business community to hire local U.S. citizens. No more excuses please!
Total of 10 years to implement U.S. PL 110-229 is way than enough. Our people are not dumb. It’s the minimum wage that we should fight for our people. Please no more feasibility study. We need to move forward. Biba Taotao Marianas.
Joseph M. Palacios