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Tinian leaders support CW extension

THE Tinian leadership led by Mayor Joey San Nicolas said their island is also affected by workforce issues which is why they support the efforts of the administration and the local business community to seek an increase in the CW cap and extend the program beyond 2019.

San Nicolas and the Tinian lawmakers held a press conference on Tuesday to announce their support for U.S. congressional relief to address the CNMI’s workforce crisis.

San Nicolas said Tinian continues to experience hardship in competing with businesses on Saipan for skilled workers.

Joey San Nicolas

“Over the course of four years, we have seen a boom in the CNMI’s economy, which has benefitted all the people of the commonwealth,” he said. “This is not to say, however, that this economic growth has been directly experienced by the people of Tinian and Rota who continue to struggle to grow and develop our local economies to provide the much needed jobs in the private sector for our people.”

He said Tinian “has three investors who are looking to develop casino resorts on Tinian. These casino resorts will mean jobs for our people and the tax revenues that will be generated will undoubtedly improve the delivery of public programs and services and improve the quality of life for our people and generations to come.”

The mayor said they support the CW extension so that Tinian can have the workers it needs to develop and grow economically.

He said it was not too long ago when they felt the impact on food prices and construction costs when the lone inter-island shipping company suspend its operations due to long delays in the CW permit renewals of their employees.

Rep. Edwin Aldan, the Tinian delegation floor leader, noted that Rota and Tinian are currently benefiting from the tax revenue that the Saipan casino industry is generating.

He said because of the growth in the local economy, “we continue to meet our obligations to our retirees, raise the salaries of our civil servants and pay old obligations that have been on the books for many years. We need a steady supply of workers to continue and sustain this growth and to continue meeting our obligations. The end of the CW program will definitely impact this ability.”

Sen. Jude Hofschneider, the delegation chairman, said they have been supporting institutions like Northern Marianas College and the Northern Marianas Trades Institute in their efforts to develop the workforce that the CNMI may need, but it’s still not enough.

Sen. Frank Cruz said that without the needed workforce, new and potential investments, especially on Tinian, will collapse.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/100644-tinian-leaders-support-cw-extension

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