‘Not enough workers delaying recovery efforts’


During a Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts briefing on Tuesday, acting governor Ralph DLG Torres’ chief of staff Matthew Deleon Guerrero said that the insufficient amount of trained workers is delaying recovery efforts in the community.

“We’ve put out applications for temporary positions with the Workforce Investment Agency and Department of Labor but we have been having trouble trying to source [workers] and are trying to figure out where the gaps and issues are,” said Deleon Guerrero, who also chairs CARE’s workforce recovery sub-committee.

“There seems to be a low number of requestees and dislocated workers for the program so [WIA and Labor] don’t have as large a labor pool to fill these positions,” he added.

“I’ve been following up on [Community Outreach Recovery Efforts’] request for positions and Empty Vessels request for positions and [Labor and WIA] are going through the backlog of assessments,” he said.

CARE members said this is one of the reasons home re-building is taking place very slowly, with some people being told by contractors to wait until next year.

“Out of the nine contractors on file for recovery efforts, the companies only listed 2-3 workers each,” Deleon Guerrero said.

Weston Deleon Guerrero, acting building safety official of the Department of Public Works, said this workforce shortfall is forcing many people to begin home construction themselves, often the same way or in a worse condition.

Earlier this year, Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero said that one of the reasons for the shortfall in the CNMI’s workforce is the misalignment of the jobs that are in demand and the educational opportunities and scholarships afforded to residents of the CNMI.


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