Martinez says the denials are not unique to Guam, other U.S. states are experiencing similar denials of H2-B workers.
Guam – With the rejection rate for H2-B Visas sitting at 99.91 percent, local employers are worried that the trend of denials will delay the Guam military buildup.
GCA President James Martinez says the recent trend of denials for foreign labor could force contractors to spend more for domestic labor from the mainland us. With the military buildup approaching, he says Guam could mobilize a local workforce but it will take longer and delay the buildup. But stakeholders, including the Guam Department of Labor, see a continuing trend of denials for foreign labor. According to GDOL, from June 2015 to May 31, 2016 125 H2-b applications were submitted for a total of 3,303 positions. 29 applications or 920 positions were outright denied with 36 applications or 1,778 positions considered ‘potential denials.’ this is all compared to a year ago when Martinez says the approval rate for H2B applications was 90 percent.
“When we have spikes at least in the construction industry, then well be needing supplemental skilled workforce to come in and supplement our local workforce to do the projects and the military buildup is a perfect example of that. Now you’re talking about billions of dollars worth of construction and only a certain number of skilled workforce locally to do that work, so were going to need foreign labor to help assist the local labor to get some of that work done in a timely manner,” said Martinez.
Martinez says the denials are not unique to Guam, other U.S. states are experiencing similar denials of H2-B workers. He also says Guam will most likely need 2,500 more workers to help with the upcoming buildup.