Guam welcomed the 4,000th H-2B worker approved to work on island, representing a record-setting number of foreign workers since the hotel construction boom in 1995.
Originally from Quezon City, Philippines, Ronel Tramado is the 4,000th H-2B worker to arrive on the island after working overseas in Qatar. He pursued work on Guam for better working conditions and higher pay.
“This exciting news shows that Guam is well into recovery as we fasten our rebuilding efforts and stabilise our footing in this era of prosperity,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.
“We welcome every foreign worker who is engaged in the work of helping our island expand local labor resources and strengthen national security. With a historic number of H-2B workers, we can expect more construction progress and more opportunities to keep Guam moving forward.”
“Ronel is one of the thousands of applicants seeking a better life for his family, but his arrival also marks a momentous occasion signaling the success of our strong federal advocacy efforts,” said Lt Governor Josh Tenorio.
“The steady flow of foreign laborers will support our efforts to lower the cost of building new homes and provide the workforce to build more affordable housing.”
The Guam Department of Labor continues to advance initiatives that will streamline the H2-B process to ensure current and future federal legislation extends Guam’s H-2B exemptions beyond 2029.
H-2B workers are available to work on construction projects in the civilian sector, including projects relative to commercial buildings, home construction, and government facilities.
The government of Guam works with the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services to reverse the 2016 H-2B crisis that resulted in the unprecedented denials of all H-2B visa applications and to update policy guidance to facilitate the availability of supplemental manpower for smaller contractors in the civilian sector. GDOL continues to work with the Philippine government to establish a Migrant Workers Office and dedicated labour attaché to streamline the approval process of H-2B visa applications to Guam.