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Saipan Chamber of Commerce applauds Senate passage of Murkowski bill

(Press Release) — The Saipan Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“The passage of S 2325, also known as the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act, through the United States Senate is a significant step forward in resolving our workforce issues.  The Saipan Chamber of Commerce wishes to express our appreciation for the personal attention and support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, which aided greatly in the passage of this bill.  The Senator’s recent CODEL visit to Saipan displayed the level of her commitment to increasing awareness of our employment limitations.

“While there is still much work to accomplish before this bill can become law, we are grateful for this forward motion.  The passage of the bill in the Senate is a positive step, and we are hopeful for continued support as the bill is considered by the U.S. House of Representatives and for the final signature to make the bill a law.  The SCC greatly appreciates the influence and support of the many individuals and businesses that took part in this effort to support industry and strengthen our economy.  Five members of the board of directors of our chamber travelled to Washington, D.C. in February to show support and to increase awareness of our situation to those in D.C.

“The SCC remains hopeful for full passage of the NMI U.S. Workforce Act.  We do, however, continue to encourage businesses to hire and train U.S. qualified employees, to seek constantly to utilize visa categories other than CW visas, and to prepare for the possibility that a resolution may not be reached before significant impact is experienced by our businesses.”