Efforts by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce to prove to Congress the necessity to hire foreign workers in the CNMI have been moving forward and developing into something definite.
The Chamber’s Northern Marianas Business Alliance Council is spearheading the effort to convince Congress to extend the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program.
“We learned from NMBAC last month that it is upon the business community to show and to justify the continuation of the CW program and that the U.S. Senate has the impression that the CNMI has made very little effort to recruit non-CW-1 workers, which is not true,” said Chamber president Velma Palacios.
“With that information, businesses must document carefully everything that we do to recruit non-CW workers to show Congress that the CNMI is doing its best to hire U.S. workers,” she added.
The NMBAC was organized by various businesses and organizations to assist the government in its efforts to effect legislation that will extend the CW-1 program and increase the number of available visas.
It has hired Frank Gibson of HR Support to help lead the project of documentation and assist companies with how to do it.
“Mr. Frank Gibson has put together a template of what is needed so it will be easier for the companies to fill out and attach in the documents. He just finished the template and the Chamber has sent it out to our membership. HANMI [Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands] and SHRM [Society of Human Resources Management] will also do the same for their membership,” Palacios said.
The template is called the recruitment documentation summary sheet. It documents job fairs that have taken place, with details as to date, time, location, and other questions that answers recruitment efforts.
“This template will make it easier for employers to provide important aspects and correspond efficiently. Any documentation showing all the recruitment efforts that any of the companies have done about hiring U.S.-eligible workers or if they were successful, how long were these employees employed, and all that information shall be written in the form,” Palacios said.
“We are hoping to go back as far as we can but we understand that some companies may not have that documentation. We also ask the employers to write a cover letter. The cover letter will detail their concerns, challenges and what their success is with the recruitment efforts and also their concerns in the event the CW-1 program is extended,” she added.