Saipan Casino Jobs Offered to U.S. Citizens: Those Living in Atlantic City, NJ

June 26, 2015

CNMI Department of Labor Secretary Edith DeLeon Guerrero has spoken out over the last few months with the message that the CNMI will not have enough skilled workers to replace the foreign workers who will return to their homelands in 2019 when the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Program ends. She also stated that there are not enough funds to train the CNMI's U.S. citizens to replace those workers. Her message was given to U.S. Department of Interior's Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs, Esther Kia'aina, to the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club.

It appears the CNMI politicians are posturing to pressure the U.S. Congress to renew the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Program that was to be phased out in 2019 so that U.S. immigration laws applied to the CNMI.

Political leaders in the CNMI know that the legal, longtime foreign workers are essential to maintaining a strong economy and filling positions from accountants, to nurses to hotel clerks. Still they refuse to push for them to be granted a pathway to citizenship, even though they are essential community members and de facto citizens since they have lived legally in the CNMI 5, 10, 15 even 20 or more years. Many fear that giving the disenfranchised legal foreign workers a pathway to citizen would mean giving them the right to vote and could weaken their political control since the natives have been a minority in their islands for decades. (Due to the fact that they brought in tens of thousands of foreign workers.)

Well, let these politicians welcome 200 or so U.S. citizens who will have a vote.
Saipan's Best Sunshine Casino is hiring an estimated 180 U.S. casino workers -dealers, cashiers and shift managers. Perhaps some of these positions are ones that locals could have been trained to fill.

According to a New Jersey.com article, perks will include free travel, insurance, a meal on every shift and free housing:
Renard International Hospitality Search held a job fair Wednesday and will run another one Thursday at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel, the report said. 
Anyone willing to uproot to the U.S. Commonwealth in the Northern Mariana Islands by July 10 to help open the casino is also being offered a signing bonus. Pay starts at $40,000 for dealers; supervisors can earn from $45,000-$75,000.
Press of Atlantic City reports:
Renard International Hospitality Search Consultants is looking to fill at least 180 jobs — but probably more — at Saipan’s Best Sunshine International Casino. So Stephen Renard and several associates are in Atlantic City holding a job fair from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Thursday to recruit people to staff a casino scheduled to open July 15.
On June 18, 2015 businessman Norman Tenorio was quoted as saying that the casino could be a good thing for the CNMI since it would provide jobs. From the Marianas Variety:
“In the past the government was able to provide jobs for just about everybody, but now the casino, hopefully, will provide good jobs for everybody,” Tenorio said, adding that he is encouraging locals to apply for the jobs that Best Sunshine, the Saipan casino investor, is offering.
It seems local workers were offered an opportunity to apply for some of the jobs and 200 applied for the estimated 500 jobs offered.

 One commenter on the MV story stated:
To the elected officials who gave courtesy to apply for a jobs at Best Sunshine. Let me tell you straight, my friends who are all U.S. Citizens submitted their resumes, including scheduled interviews and followed-ups, but Best Sunshine is not responding to their emails. Wake up Legislators, because few casino workers are coming in from the Philippines in a few weeks. I've seen a key employee (Manager) from Tinian Dynasty in Garapan this week.
It will be interesting to see how this 'casino industry' plays out. The CNMI initially attempted to build their economy with the garment industry. That endeavor did more to establish the reputation of the CNMI as human rights violator than it did to provide locals with jobs or build the economy. Will the casino industry be another green flash?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is how the CNMI expects to develop an economy when employers are allowed to post JVA's (job vacancy announcements on the DOL website) with questionable "qualification requirements" that only pays a little better than a minimum wage? As far as the casino industry goes, just wait and see how this Karma in the making works out. The government thinks it's a get rich scheme, but wait until they realize that the casino is going to take every dollar it can get out of the local residents as well. When the crime and negative social impacts kick in, the government will realize that they invited in a plague that costs more to cure than the revenue they are receiving. And here is another observation. Putting all of your eggs in one basket didn't work before (i.e., garment industry), what makes you think that gambling can sustain the islands income needs? Newsflash, gambling is not an INDUSTRY, it's a carnival attraction that lures in fool's. To keep it going, you need a steady stream of fool's and addicted idiots. I guess based on that, the casino will be filled with CNMI politicians.

Anonymous said...

Recruiting casino workers from Atlantic City? One has the question the reasoning behind this. I would think that Las Vegas would be the more likely locale to recruit from. Why? Las Vegas is closer (airfare is cheaper) with daily flights to Hawaii where you can easily connect to Guam. Las Vegas has a large population of former residents from Hawaii. Wouldn't you think they would love a shot at returning to the "island style" way of life? And, Las Vegas is the original gambling mecca in the United States. Plenty of qualified and experienced casino employees. So why Atlantic City? Maybe because gambling took a serious downturn there with layoffs, casino's going broke, etc. Atlantic City is a long way from Saipan, so more than likely, people there wouldn't have heard about all of the CNMI negatives. Las Vegas is a small town where word passes quickly. With the large population of ex-Hawaii residents, and also California residents in Las Vegas, I'm sure the CNMI's reputation has come up for discussion more than once. Just a suggestion for the politicians in the CNMI. In your original negotiations, you should have demanded that the casinos establish a gaming school on island before awarding a gaming commission license. You should have mandated that locals would be taught (in advance) and certified for those higher paying positions. After that, then you can bring in your casino and whoever else you want. But no, these idiots in the CNMI put the cart before the horse. Truthfully, I seriously wonder if the CNMI has a clue to how vunerable the world economic situation is as well? At any moment, things can change. Tourism (in my opinion) is not always 100% reliable. And casinos? Why not just invite a case of leprosy into the island? You will probably end up with the same results - it will spread and infect the population with something they didn't want. What does it take for an island leader to understand that an island economy should be based on self sufficiency, green energy, locally grown and sustainable food production, aquaculture, etc.(do you remember Tony Pellegrino)? What really boggles the mind is that the CNMI (with it's relationship to the United States) is in such a dismal state of affairs given all the grants and funding that is and was available over the years.
I hate to say this, but maybe, just maybe, those filipino workers in Saipan should be granted U.S. citizenship. Maybe then, and only then, this cycle of "minority control" - "minority closed minded island corrupted thinking" can be broken by a population of voters that don't vote along "family names". Wendy, I've changed my thoughts. If a filipino worker (on contract or otherwise) has been sitting on the island for more than ten years, I say give him unrestricted "residency". But please note, I did not say citizenship. For that, I say apply and stand in line. However, it should be prudent that these workers be given a "fast track" application process that grants them "full citizenship" and benefits as a U.S. citizen given how we turn a blind eye on our borders to others.