Guam’s foreign labor shortage might see some relief soon – as there looks to be an expedited process for H-2B workers.
Guam Department of Labor Director Dave Dell’isola says, “If we can get an office here that’ll greatly speed it up – instead of going all the way to LA which is on the other side of the word. You can see the communication problems, the time differences and that’s what they’re realizing is that what’s currently happening is just not acceptable.”
Following recent meetings between Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and delegation from the Philippine House of Representatives – a labor attaché from the Migrant Workers Office base in Los Angeles, California, has made moves to expedite the process of approving H-2B visa applications, says the Office of the Governor.
Moreover, a representative from the MWO is expected to visit Guam from January 24th to the 27th to meet with local construction companies and to make recommendations on opening a local satellite office to improve the island’s construction workforce.
In an interview with PNC – Guam Department of Labor Director, Dave Dell’isola, says that the MWO worker is already looking at ways to implement simplified and streamlined processes to, “speed up the whole verification process.”
“She’s going to be meeting with us sitting down and going through all the details, going to be going through all the details . She’s going to be meeting with the contractors and the H2’s, and seeing for herself.” He continues, “And then of course she’s going to be meeting with the Governor to also present her recommendations and what she sees to be true so that she can report back to the secretary of Migrant workers in the Philippines.”
The MWO worker – Dell’isola adds – will also be on island to see if there is enough work and justification to for opening a Migrant Workers Office on island.
“We’re going to make sure that she has a full understanding of our process and how well we handle the H2’s here and how happy they are here, and how they mesh in with our culture. So when she sees that I think she’ll be in agreement with the Governor and hopefully recommend everything that we’re asking for,” says Dell’isola.
Dell’isola says that normally – with the MWO office being in California – it would take an average of 3-4 months per application process to be completed. However, that process will be significantly shorter if the office is here in Guam.
More as the story unfolds.