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NMI Labor to get CW funds

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THE funds collected from the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Permit applicants will be remitted to the CNMI Department of Labor, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres stated in a memorandum.

Employers petitioning for CW permits pay a mandatory $200 education fee for each permit. These monies are transferred to the CNMI government to fund its vocational education, apprenticeships, or other training programs for U.S. workers.

U.S. Public Law 115-218 or the NMI U.S. Workforce Act also requires the Commonwealth to submit to the U.S. Department of Labor an expenditure plan for the CW funds.

On Sept. 19, 2019, U.S. Labor Regional Administrator Nicholas Lalpuis informed the governor that the Commonwealth worker fund annual plan had been approved. This approval, the governor said, allows the CNMI government to use the CW funds “in fulfillment of the plan.”

“Therefore, in an effort to provide for the implementation of this plan and the achievement of the workforce development goals provided under the plan, I am authorizing the CNMI Department of Finance to release the necessary funding deposited into the Commonwealth Worker Fund to the CNMI Department of Labor as my authorized designee for the expenditure of the funds,” the governor said in his memo.

He also authorized the use of the unused balance from previous year’s allocations for the fiscal year 2020 annual plan.

In an interview, Ways and Means Chairman Ivan Blanco said his House Bill 21-91 would create a Commonwealth Worker Fee Revolving Fund and designate the CNMI Labor secretary as the expenditure authority of the CW funds.

He noted that the FY2020 budget appropriates $2.5 million in CW funds for the Northern Marianas Technical Institute, the Public School System, and Northern Marianas College for their respective career and technical education programs.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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