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Labor Day 2022 has a new significance as we honor all service workers

Friday, September 2, 2022

As we celebrate Labor Day 2022 this September 5th, I’d like for us to reflect on the challenges we have overcome and the hardships that workers around the world encountered throughout the most difficult two years in recent history. We saw economies shut down, schools close, and daily uncertainty that put pressure on all of us, both physically and mentally.

The past two years have not been easy, and not enough can be said about the effort and time that our people put into keeping our islands running, especially since we continue to battle and overcome the pandemic's effects. Despite the quarantine, lockdowns, limitations, and so on, our service workers, frontliners, and leaders always found a way to assure everyone's safety.

Before the pandemic, grocery workers, trash collectors, and most service workers were taken for granted. Today, these workers have a new understanding of how valuable they are to our daily survival. They are the pillars of our community.

As we celebrate Labor Day, I encourage our community to say thank you to our service and frontline workers for all they do to care for our community and keep us safe. Many essential workers never stopped working.

The change will continue to happen as we progress into 2023, and one thing is certain: we must plan for the unforeseen. If 2020 taught us something, it is to expect the unexpected.

Moving forward

Throughout the past two years, we saw glimpses of hope and recovery as businesses quickly reimagined how to continue serving food and offering services. We witnessed how everyone pitched in to help. Volunteers conducted beach clean-ups while following the safety mandates in place.

We've had to shift with the rest of the world and figure out how to move forward. We've encountered countless opportunities to reflect and realign as we pushed through the uncertainty. Now, and in the years to come, we will continue to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose, hope, and gratitude.

In January 2022, we saw the first group of Korean tourists enter the CNMI's borders thanks to the Tourism Resumption Investment Plan. We will soon witness the revival of the Japanese market, with the first inaugural flights arriving in the CNMI this weekend. As our tourism industry expands, we will be able to open more businesses and provide more jobs to our community. We thank our tourism professionals for their vital role in supporting our top industry.

To our medical professionals who have been working around the clock to save lives; the retail, grocery, and essential service workers who show up to work every day to provide us with food, medicine, and necessities to thrive; and our government workers who ensured that our essential public services continue to be provided, I thank you! Our people are grateful to you for all that you do to risk your health and safety to protect theirs.

I would like to also express my gratitude to each member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, as well as the Public Private Partnership program volunteers, public and private partners, local leaders, and members of our community for their dedication and contributions to making the Northern Mariana Islands a safer and better place to live.

Happy Labor Day, Marianas! Have a safe celebration and remember to pause and reflect on how far we have come as a community because we worked together. Together, We Can!

For more information about GCEA’s programs, visit, engage with the council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy), or contact them at

By Gov. Ralph DLG Torres

The Honorable Ralph DLG. Torres is the 9th Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers co-chairman.

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