CODEL learns first hand about Guam labor woes
Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) of the House Judiciary Committee speaks during
the Congressional Delegation’s briefing with Cong. Bordallo and military leaders
Mondayat the Hilton Guam Resort and Spa.
In the past year, there has been a truly bi-partisan effort by Guam political leaders, ranging from Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, to Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo to individual Guam legislators to convey to Washington, D.C. the impact of a virtual ban on permits to bring in contract workers to build both military and civilian projects.
The latest to get the pitch, is a Congressional delegation led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. The delegation also included Representatives Blake Farenhold (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Jason Smith (R-MI), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
While on Guam, the delegation reviewed Guam’s workforce challenges and the defense readiness on Guam and the region. The CODEL met with Cong. Bordallo and military leaders. Bordallo underscored Guam’s civilian labor shortages. She impressed on her colleagues that while her provision in the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act was a step in the right direction for military and civilian construction projects associated with the Marine relocation, a broader solution is necessary to meet Guam’s civilian labor demands. Chairman Goodlatte committed to working with Bordallo to implement a legislative solution for Guam’s unique challenges the current Congress.
“I thank Chairman Goodlatte and my House colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for coming to Guam to learn firsthand about our unique workforce issues and the security needs in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. While my provision enacted in last year’s defense bill provides some relief for civilian and military construction projects associated with the buildup, we need additional legislation for civilian workers not related to the Marine relocation. I impressed on my colleagues the impacts the labor shortage is having on everyday life on Guam, and I appreciate Chairman Goodlatte’s commitment to work with me on a legislative solution this Congress. The CODEL members understand our unique situation as we deal with this skilled labor crisis, and the Chairman assured me that he is committed to finding a permanent solution.”