The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved 321 more visa petitions, bringing to 654 the total number of petitions cleared under the National Defense Authorization Act, the Guam Department of Labor announced yesterday.
USCIS earlier approved 333 requests approved for PHC Corporation.
“This is more good news for our construction industry, our economy, and our government’s fiscal stability. Companies that have sat idle because they lacked the total workforce needed to complete these projects will have the skilled workers necessary to resume work,” Gov. Eddie Calvo said.
"We may be seeing the start of a trend, but it’s still just the start," said Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio. “The Governor sent letters of support for about 1,500 skilled workers and we aren’t quite there yet. We must remain prudent and continue working with the Guam Department of Labor and its federal and regional partners to build a larger local pool of skilled workers.”
Department of Labor Director Sam Mabini said the Department is glad to see more approvals for workers to supplement our workforce and get projects moving.
“With these revitalized projects, we hope to see continued and sustained efforts by employers to train and apprentice interested local workers for jobs in construction,” Mabini commented.
Guam Department of Labor Alien Labor Processing & Certification, Division Administrator Greg Massey said with this second approval for 321 H-2B workers, “it appears that the hard work done by Team Guam and our military partners, which resulted in a change to federal law, is yielding the desired effect.
“In the next few weeks, we hope to see the USCIS respond positively to H-2B petitions filed by named plaintiffs in the GCA Lawsuit,” Massey stated. “We hope that those petitions are given favorable consideration to allow for needed workers on civilian projects.”
The approved petitions are for the following positions.
• Carpenter: 127
• Electrician: 7
• Welder: 14
• Cement Mason: 49
• Heavy Equipment Operator: 5
• Plumber: 10
• Reinforcing Metalworker: 109