by Mindy Aguon
Guam - As the Navy searches for a new tenant at the Guam Shipyard, the island's business community is reacting to the news. Guam Chamber of Commerce president David Leddy says the change of hands could benefit Guam's job market - if the company that wins the lease hires locally.
NAVFAC Marianas has announced a request for parties to submit interest in the lease of 49 acres of industrial real property at the former Naval Ship Repair Facility. Leddy told KUAM News, "We are talking about job opportunities for engineers, for electricians, welders, painters - so these are people that can apply these types of skills to other industries they can work in anything that deals in sheet metal, they can do pipes for the Guam Waterworks Authority."
The Guam Economic Development Authority has been leasing the land from NAVFAC and subleasing it the Shipyard. Their lease runs out in 2012.
Leddy says whether it is run by civil servants or by the private sector a ship repair facility is an important component of Guam's economy. GEDA, as we reported, has confirmed that the Government of Guam will pursue a long-term lease of the property that was once going to be given to them before the Navy changed its mind.