As the US military realigns its defense posture in the Asia-Pacific region, there is a requirement to accommodate a large influx of off-island labor. On September 8, 2011, Younex Enterprises Corporation held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of Phase 1 of the Ukudu Workforce Housing and Training Village. This 252 acre site in northern Guam is the single largest M1 zoned area contiguous to both Anderson Air Force Base and the Marine Base, to be constructed. It is described as a full-service, single compound workforce housing solution designed to flexibly accommodate, if needed, up to 18,000 workers. The fenced ‘village’ will be operated by Younex Corporation, with PAE, a Lockheed Martin Company, providing program oversight and several qualified small business firms providing support services. It will provide housing facilities, food services, transportation, recreation activities, laundry services, security, medical services and other amenities for temporary resident workers. In one month, 200 workers from the Federated States of Micronesia and possibly American Samoa will become the first tenants. More temporary workers may arrive as a result of a $250 million contract to build a new private hospital as well as a $90 million contract for utility and site improvements for Anderson Air Force Base and Apra Harbor.
In the first half of the program, we feature excerpts from remarks given by the following dignitaries at the Ukudu ribbon cutting ceremony (in order): Mr. David B. Tydingco, Senior Vice President, Younex Enterprises Corporation; Mr. Kil Koo Yoon, Chairman, Younex Enterprises Corporation; Ms. Maria Connelly, Chairperson, Center for Micronesian Empowerment and former Director, Guam Department of Labor; Mr. Carl Peterson, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of Army and former Chairperson, Armed Forces Committee, Guam Chamber of Commerce; Honorable Melissa B. Savares, Mayor of Dededo Village and Chairperson, Para Hita Todu; Honorable Judith P. Guthertz, Senator, 31st Guam Legislature and Chairperson, Committee on the Guam Military Buildup and Homeland Security; and the Honorable Edward J.B. Calvo, Governor of Guam.
While an integrated workforce housing and training solution is key to the military and Guam buildup, compliance with federal and local labor laws and regulations on both sides of the fence is also critical. Guam is the only US jurisdiction where the Governor is delegated authority to issue temporary labor certification and the local Department of Labor has H-2 visa enforcement responsibility.
In the second half, my guest is Greg S. Massey (firstname.lastname@example.org) who has over 20 years of experience within the Department of Labor in Guam and Hawaii, specializing in casework and enforcement. Since 2006, he has served as the Administrator, Alien Labor Processing and Certification Division, Guam Department of Labor. He reflects on the history of temporary labor on Guam and the significance of the Ukudu Village and the plan to offer regulatory simplicity via one central location.