IPI says it is recruiting more US workers

IMPERIAL Pacific International said it continues to recruit more U.S. workers for its hotel-casino facility.

IPI said it wants to have a workforce comprised of at least 65 percent U.S. qualified workers. Currently, 44 percent of its personnel are U.S. workers and the rest are non-U.S.

The CNMI government’s goal for private sector employers is that they hire at least 30 percent U.S. workers.

In an email to Variety, Imperial Pacific International said it had to recruit off-island, including in the U.S., to hire staff for the temporary casino and related facilities.

“In July 2015, IPI spent $1.5 million to recruit 270 employees with gaming experience in the U.S. mainland. On Aug. 3, 2015, the worst storm in 40 years, Typhoon Soudelor, decimated Saipan, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving its residents without power and water for more than six months. Barely two months later, IPI had to expend an additional $.5 million repatriating 80 percent of the U.S. mainland employees who chose to terminate their contracts and return home. Of the 270 U.S. citizen employee recruits, only 30 remain employed by IPI today,” IPI stated.

It added that it is mandated by its casino-license agreement with the CNMI government “to use its best efforts to employ 65 percent U.S. citizen workers. [But] despite spending years and millions of dollars on recruitment in the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico, Guam all throughout Micronesia and the entire CNMI, we have not been able to reach this mandate.”

IPI said these challenges are due to various factors like competition from other states offering higher wages, and the islands’ distance from the U.S. workers’ homeland.

IPI said despite these challenges in recruiting U.S. workers, it is still optimistic that it will meet the 65 percent mandate because it is aggressively doing its best to recruit and retain U.S. workers.

IPI added that it is still in compliance with the provision mandating the hiring of more local or U.S. workers.

“We have shown our proactive actions to meet this goal, but as with all employers, the CNMI lacks the necessary U.S. citizen workforce, necessitating the need to extend the CW program.”

IPI said it has about 1,800 employees and will need about 1,000 more once the construction of its hotel facility in Garapan is completed.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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