U.S. companies looking to lure employees from Guam as employee shortage continues

Two companies based in the U.S. mainland are looking to hire people in Guam to relocate off island, recruiting to support workforce demands.

The Kraft Heinz Co., located in Kirksville, Miss., is experiencing a labor shortage, according to a release issued by the city. Addressing workforce needs, the multinational food company established a recruitment program, designed to find permanent employees from Guam and Hawaii to work in its plant, which produces various Oscar Mayer products.

The search efforts are from Jan. 7-14 in Hawaii. The press release didn’t include dates for Guam. Kraft Heinz is seeking 25 people to join its team to relocate to Kirksville.

Truman State University in Kirksville will offer transitional housing and a one-credit course to familiarize new employees with the city, which will also ease their transition to the community, according to the press release. The new Kraft Heinz employees will stay in the current unused residence hall.

Kraft Heinz has been a part of the Kirksville community since 1985. After announcing a $250 million expansion project in 2016, the company added 200 jobs and seven new production lines to the facility.

Meanwhile, United Airlines Inc. will host a recruitment drive next week in Guam for vacant positions in Denver, Colo. The two-day career fair hosted by the airline is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Jan. 17 and 18 at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

United Airlines is looking to hire more than 1,800 this year in Denver for roles across many departments for positions like storekeepers, facilities maintenance technicians, aircraft technicians, and ramp services, according to a press release.

United is offering a $25,000 relocation incentive for Guam residents. They must provide proof of residency and complete interviews and clearance processes. A one-year commitment is required to be eligible to receive the incentive, the press release said.

Those interested can apply online. Applications will also be available at the fair. The airline asked applicants to bring a resume and a pen as interviews will be conducted on the same day.

The recruitment effort comes after United Airlines announced in December the largest widebody aircraft ordered by a U.S. carrier in commercial aviation history.

Cruise industry members have regularly recruited in Guam.


Visitors bureau estimates fiscal 2023 visitors, unable to hold board member election


Gerald S.A. Perez, vice president of the Guam Visitors Bureau said at the GVB membership meeting on Jan. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Guam that the current estimate for total fiscal 2023 arrivals is now 670,000, 41% of 2019 arrivals.


GVB is predicting 372,209 visitors from Korea, 130,719 from Japan, 85,912 from the U.S. and Hawaii, 17,997 from the Philippines and 9,031 visitors from Taiwan. While other areas of the world are seeing visitors return, the Asia Pacific region Perez said is seeing about “17% of pre-COVID levels.”


The International Air Transport Association reported the same percentage for the Asia Pacific region in a Jan. 9 release for a passenger load factor of 17% for November.


GVB halted its election of board members at the meeting, due to lack of a quorum of members.

Perez told attendees that of 495 members, only 157 were represented to vote. “We need 248 for a quorum,” he said. “It would not be appropriate to proceed with the voting.”


GVB had planned for the election of four membership nominees to the board. As the Journal earlier reported, these are Paula Monk, director of sales, United Airlines; William Nault, president and CEO of Nautech Guam Corp.; Carlos R. Taitano, director of global learning and engagement, University of Guam; and Rachel Tan, vice president of operations for T Galleria by DFS, Mid Pacific.


Nault is also vice president of the Guam Travel & Tourism Association, according to Journal files. Perez said GVB had not yet received notice of the (five) nominees appointed by Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero, or the (two) nominees to be appointed by Sen. Therese M. Terlaje, speaker of the 37th Guam Legislature.


Nor could GVB’s membership vote on ratification of the amended bylaws, which Perez earlier said were “now totally in compliance with the enabling statutes.”



In other Government of Guam news:


Officials from the Migrant Workers Office of the Philippines are due to visit Guam from Jan. 24 to Jan. 27 “to meet with local construction companies and to make recommendations on opening a local satellite office to improve the island’s construction workforce, according to a Jan. 10 release from the Office of the Governor.

 A labor attaché from the Migrant Workers Office based in Los Angeles, Calif., has already made “several concessions” to speed up approving H-2B visa applications, according to the release. As of December, the MWO reported processing more than 1,000 job orders for 28 local employers, the release said.

The news follows a December visit by a delegation from the Philippine House of Representatives. Its members met with Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero and Guam Department of Labor officials, Guam Contractors Association members, and H-2B workers.


The A.B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam said escalators and moving walkways in certain areas of the airport will be shut down and the air conditioning temperature will be increased from 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the terminal, due to high power bills. The airport is also encouraging employees (and tenants) to turn off lights and energy consuming devices at the end of the day, according to a Jan. 10 release. Artemio Hernandez, deputy executive manager at the airport; said, “Although our kilowatt hour usage has remained similar to previous months and periods, the power rates have pushed us to take these temporary measures.”


The Guam Power Authority said the Cabras 2 generator will be offline for scheduled maintenance through Feb. 14, according to a Jan. 10 release. Customers are asked to conserve energy when possible, particularly during peak hours from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., although GPA does not expect any service interruptions because of the maintenance. Cabras 2 was installed in 1975 and together with Cabras 1 provides a quarter of Guam’s energy supply, GPA said.


White House Initiative to host virtual event on a national strategy

On Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders will host a virtual event to release the first-ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities.   


Senior Biden-Harris Administration officials and national community leaders will discuss issue areas highlighted in the report and agency plans, including efforts to address anti-Asian hate, prioritize data disaggregation, promote language access, and ensure an equitable COVID-19 recovery, according to a release. mbj