Construction rates above $15 now official

The new Common Construction Prevailing Wage Rates are available on the Guam Depart of Labor’s website at

The rates were also announced in a release from the Office of the Governor late afternoon on Oct. 15.

The three most common H-2B occupations for which H-2B workers are imported saw significant increases in their wage rates, were Carpenters with a 0.65% increase, Cement Masons with a 4.96% increase and Reinforcing Metalworkers with an increase of 7.17%. All craft worker rates exceed $15 per hour and range as high as $19 per hour.  The new wage rates are not expected to change until October 2023.

The new rates will affect new applications for H-2B workers filed with the Guam Department of Labor on or after Dec.14. Rates for current approvals remain at the existing wage rates until the employer’s valid labor certification expires.

For further information, contact Greg S. Massey at the Department of Labor at 475-8005 or via email at [email protected].  

The new H-2B prevailing wage rates for common construction occupations were approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through a biennial process using Guam data gathered from a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment Statistics Survey. 

According to Journal sources, many construction rates already exceed $15 due to the demand for skilled labor.


Congressional committee to revisit dome issues

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Congress will hold a hearing on Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. EST or midnight in the Pacific on Oct. 22, on the Runit Dome, a containment facility for nuclear waste at the former nuclear test site on Enewetak Atoll.

The hearing will be available on YouTube afterwards at

According to an Oct. 16 release from the Committee, “The Department of Energy has failed to comply with environmental testing requirements under the 2011 Insular Affairs Act, citing a variety of reasons including a lack of funding from the Department of the Interior, and legal advice provided by the Department of State.”

The subcommittee will hear testimony on environmental monitoring at Runit Dome from multiple agencies and from expert witnesses on the connection between this issue, the wider U.S. nuclear legacy, and the U.S.-Marshallese relationship.

Aside from U.S. government officials – to include those from the U.S. departments of state and the Office of Insular Affairs at the Department of the Interior – testimony will be given by Casten Nemra, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands, Dean Cheng, senior research fellow, Asian Studies Center, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, The Heritage Foundation; Melissa Laelan, founder and executive director, Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese; and Rhea Moss-Christian, Chairwoman, Marshall Islands National Nuclear Commission.


CHCC given pass after federal inspections

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. in an Oct. 13 letter that after an initial and validation inspection, the standards of Medicare conditions pursuant to CMS regulations were met, rescinding any termination action imposed against the hospital, according to an Oct. 18 release from the CHCC.

In November 2012, a Notice of Termination was given for the hospital, and its dialysis, and laboratory units. At the time, the hospital had 13 conditional findings. In January 2014, the laboratory termination status was removed, and in September 2014, the termination status for dialysis was removed. CMS conducted resurveys of the hospital in April 2019 and May. A validation survey was conducted in September.

CMS is the governing body that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance portability standards.


Second shelter to meet Guam homeless needs

The Tamuning Plaza Hotel on South Marine Corps Drive will be the site of a 24-hour shelter for Guam’s homeless, with 40 rooms allocated and case management by Manelu (formerly Big Brothers, Big Sisters), according to an Oct. 18 release from the Office of the Governor.

The 40-unit Catholic Social Services Global Dorm in Maite – leased from Dewan Worldwide Inc. – is full, with a waiting list, according to the release.  Both sites are paid for by CARES Act funding.


US DOI awards grants for snake control

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced Oct. 15 $4,095,922 million in Brown Tree Snake Control program fiscal 2021 funding, through the Technical Assistance Program. An additional amount of $1,791,421 from Coral Reef and Natural Resources fiscal 2021 funds was announced earlier this year for controlling and mitigating other invasive species in the Insular Areas. 

The funding was divided as follows: 

The Guam Department of Agriculture for interdiction and control – $100,000; the Guam Power Authority for BTS Data Collection, $70,389; the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Lands and Natural Resources for interdiction and control, $407,950; the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for interdiction and control, $288,706 ; the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services, which includes interdiction and control on Guam and Cocos Island, $1,205,590; the USDA National Wildlife Research Center for research, $649,842; the U.S. Geological Survey for research, $1,055,522; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for program coordination, $317,923.


AGs support local journalism

Attorney General Leevin T. Camacho joined a bipartisan coalition of 15 attorneys general calling on Congress to pass legislation supporting local journalism, according to an Oct. 18 release. A letter calls on key leaders to support and pass the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021 (H.R. 3940 and S. 2434). The letter reads in part, “Local newspapers are responsible for half of our country’s original reporting, although they only account for one-quarter of media outlets. In many rural communities, local news organizations provide the only information and updates about issues impacting the community.”

The act would provide up to $250 in tax credits to local newspaper subscribers to offset subscription fees; up to $5,000 in tax credits for some local businesses for buying ads in local newspapers; and up to $25,000 for local newspapers to hire local journalists.


Did you know …

The A.B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam announced Oct. 19 Capt. Ari Fuji, the first female commercial captain pilot in Japan and Japan Airlines, is one of the flight instructors for October’s pilot training on B737-800 aircraft. Fuji became Japan’s first female commercial airline captain in 2010. 

JAL opened a flight crew training center in 2013 at the Guam airport, according to Journal files.

Emily Howell Warner became the first permanent woman pilot for a scheduled U.S. passenger airline in 1973, flying for Frontier Airlines. In 1974, she became the first female member of the Air Line Pilots Association. She became the first female U.S. airline captain, of a Twin Otter, in 1976, according to Women in Aviation International.

Stewardess Ada Brown and a group of flying partners signed up almost 300 women, forming the world’s first stewardess union at United, the Air Line Stewardess Association in 1945. Flight attendants at United Airlines and 25 other carriers are represented by the union that grew from ALSA: The Association of Flight Attendants.

The Guam Chapter of Women in Aviation International was launched in 2020 and relaunched in August.

For more on women in aviation, see Women in Aviation International Guam Chapter – Home | Facebook, Focus – September 6, 2021 — Marianas Business Journal ( and


For your diary: The University of Guam will celebrate its Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The year-long observance will begin with a virtual kickoff ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, on Zoom. The public is invited to view the ceremony and hear more about the celebrations ahead for the 70th anniversary year.  

The honorary co-chairs of the anniversary committee are Alumni AnnMarie Muna, president and general manager of AM Insurance and Christine Won Pat Baleto, chief financial officer for Docomo Pacific and master franchisee of Pacific Froots LLC, who will service with co-chair Norman Analista, director for Development and Alumni Affairs at UOG.

Members of the community may register to attend the event at mbj