job fair aims to rebuild ‘workforce of tomorrow’ | New

The CNMI Department of Labor, in partnership with the State Workforce Development Board through the Office of the Governor, will host a job fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. today, Friday, August 26, at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.

The event – ​​free and open to the public – will feature employers from the construction, labor services, retail and hospitality sectors.

This year’s theme, “Rebuilding Tomorrow’s Workforce”, aims to address the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic on the local workforce.

The event is fully funded by the more than $1.5 million U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I Grant for the year of 2020 program.

According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report on CNMI Workforce Trends and Wage Distribution, the Department of Homeland Security has approved approximately 11,600 CNMI-only, or CW-1, foreign work permits for 2019, and only about 5,400 in 2021, down more than 60% from a high of 13,685 in fiscal year 2017.

According to the Prevailing Wage Study, an annual study of employers by CNMI, the reported number of employees earning less than $8 per hour decreased by 68% from 2019 to 2021.

The study showed that the CNMI workforce currently earning above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has risen to 94% from 73% in 2019.

The PWS data also noted that low-wage industries, such as the retail sector, have seen disproportionate declines in the workforce during the pandemic.

Unemployment benefits during the pandemic made it more difficult to hire workers, which may also have contributed to the decline in employment of low-wage workers between 2019 and 2021.

It is not known what the current unemployment rate is in the CNMI.

For more information about today’s job fair, call (670) 664-3190/6 or email jobfair2022.dol@gmail.com/.

Michael A. Bynum