8,109 workers okayed, in JVA

Sep 3, 2019

Temporary labor certifications have been approved for 2,443 CW workers; and another 5,666 job vacancy announcements are active, according to the U.S. Department of Labor team I met with. Although Congress is in recess until September 9, I returned early to Washington to get the update, because Marianas businesses are worried the new certification, required before they can apply for FY20 CW permits, is not moving quickly enough. Labor officials told me the average time from start to finish is 52 days. It takes 11 days to get a prevailing wage determination. It takes another 41 days for the temporary labor certification. The 41 days includes the 21-day job vacancy announcement, or JVA, period. The Labor Department opened applications on April 4; and the entire process can be conducted online, so mail delays are not a factor. Labor said few Marianas businesses applied initially. A prevailing wage survey the Governor is required to produce under terms of the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act, enacted in July 2018, was not finished until July of this year.