TAMUNING, Guam — Repatriation of 388 workers from Core Tech International began Sept. 4 due to the denial of all of the company’s applications for H-2B visa renewals. H-2B workers make up about 45% of Core Tech’s workforce, Conchita D. Bathan, CEO of Core Tech, told the Journal.

The company will hire additional subcontractors to augment its local workforce and has posted announcements for job openings in various construction skills.

“We will have to assess ongoing projects and prioritize the work based on available workers,” Bathan said.

Core Tech’s ongoing projects include repairing tanks for Guam Waterworks Authority, bridge replacement for Department of Public Works and the construction of two hangars and utility, electrical and mechanical projects for the federal government.

In addition, Core Tech has various residential projects including Summer Tower in Tamuning and Dededo’s Summer Town Estates III and IV and Summer Park.

According to the Guam Department of Labor, since January the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has denied all H-2B visas applications for Guam, including renewals of visas that had been granted for several years prior. The Guam Contractors Association plans to file a lawsuit against USCIS for the denials and GDOL and the offices of the governor and Guam’s delegate to Congress have been working to address the issue. (See “Ire raised over H-2B denials, contractors to sue USCIS in class action” in the Aug. 22 issue of the Journal.)