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    Friday, December 14, 2018-9:25:22P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Torres-Palacios tout progress for NMI Youth

(Press Release) — In a recent statement from Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres and running mate Arnold I. Palacios, the tandem highlighted the achievements made toward improving services for and advancing the role of young people in the CNMI.

“Since coming into office in 2014, I have made effort to proactively place our resources in providing our students and young professionals the means and opportunities to take leadership roles in the future of our islands.” Torres said. “Looking back, I think we can be proud of not only increasing funding for the CNMI Scholarship Program, Northern Marianas College, Workforce Investment Agency, our Office of Youth Affairs, and, of course, our Public School System, but also that we have helped to better create an environment of greater opportunity for young professionals to find fulfilling work for better pay right here at home.”

Torres referenced the substantial increases in appropriated funding for the CNMI’s youth since assuming the lt. governor’s position in 2015. Between Fiscal Year 2015 and the current Fiscal Year 2018, the administration and the Republican controlled Legislature have implemented:

  • • a 47 percent increase to the CNMI Scholarship Program
  • • a 29 percent increase to Northern Marianas College
  • • a28 percent increase to Office of Youth Affairs
  • • a 43 percent increase to the Joeten Kiyu Public Library
  • • a 62 percent increase to the Workforce Investment Agency
  • • a 47 percent increase to the Public School System

“The fact that this administration has appropriated more funding to our Public School System than ever before is a clear indicator of our collective efforts to support our next generation” said lt. governor candidate Arnold I. Palacios, “But it doesn’t just stop there.”

“From increasing resources to our college, to providing more opportunity for our students to be educated and building an economy that can support more jobs at higher wages for them, this administration has done more to educate, train, and support our youth than ever before,” said Palacios.

Palacios sought to underscore the impact increasing wages and economic growth had for advancing young professionals and recent graduates. According to the CNMI Department of Commerce, average wages in the CNMI have increased 42 percent between 2014 and 2016 — from $8.71 an hour to a record $12.38 an hour.

For Torres, it is about providing the environment for our youth to succeed. “Government can only do so much, but in what we can do, I have fought for every opportunity we can provide for our youth.” Torres said. “We have supported child care facilities so young families can work and earn a higher standard of living, we have used the new resources from our economic growth to give more than ever before to students, and I have personally made a serious effort to place smart and talented young professionals in positions of influence in government boards, like CUC, CDA and MPLT, and in my senior staff and departments in order to bring a new and fresh voice to the table.”

Palacios for his part believes much of this motivation arises from who Torres is. “Often times, people overlook the fact that Governor Torres is the youngest governor the CNMI has ever had, and is actually the youngest governor in the nation. Yet as young as he is, he has accomplished so much for all people in the CNMI.”

“He is a prime example of what our young leaders can do and I am proud of all we have done together and look forward to all the progress we can achieve in the future.” Palacios said.