NEWS: First H-2B Approvals Under 2018 NDAA
Governor, Lt. Governor cautiously optimistic about remaining petitions
March 30, 2018
Hagåtña — The Guam Department of Labor has confirmed the first approvals of H-2B workers under the 2018 NDAA exemption. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services posted the approval of five occupations for a total of 162 positions for PHC Corporation.
Occupations Number of workers
Carpenter 128
Construction Equip Mechanic 5
Electrician 7
Plumber 8
Welder 14
Total 162
There remain 171 positions for three occupations that require USCIS approval for PHC Corporation: cement masons, heavy equipment operators, and iron workers. Guam DOL officials anticipate an update on those 171 next week.
“This is good news,” Governor Calvo stated. “This is the first test case of the NDAA visa approval process and we weren’t certain how USCIS would respond to these petitions.”
Greg Massey, Administrator for the Guam Department of Labor’s Alien Labor Processing and Certificate Division, and Director Sam Mabini said they are waiting for USCIS’ response to other petitions that have been submitted by other local contractors to see if there’s a positive trend. Massey stated that this is the first approval of H2B workers since November 2016. The numbers for H2B workers in prior years has averaged about 1,500.
“The second big test would be the federal agency’s response to petitions for skilled workers for outside-the-fence projects,” the Governor stated. “Just this week, I signed a petition for the first of those projects by a contractor that was involved in the GCA lawsuit.”
The Governor is referring to the Ace Builders petition for 555 skilled workers. His letter of support will be added to the petition packet that will be sent to USCIS.
Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio also is cautiously optimistic.
“We’re looking for a favorable response to that request because that would signal that the federal government is acting in good faith and that the military buildup that Guam is expected to host will benefit the people on both sides of the fence,” the Lt. Governor stated.
We appreciate the hard work of the men and women of the Guam Department of Labor for working with our contractors and liaising with USCIS. And congratulations to PHC Corp on their successful petition!

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