Guam's economy growing with $77M in non-military construction - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam's economy growing with $77M in non-military construction

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The island's economy is growing from the ground up literally as local construction activity continues to increase. And much of that is attributed to non-military construction activity.

Between January to March this year, 90% of the island saw construction activity. "In the first the three months of the year, there's $77.7 million in construction," said governor's deputy press secretary Phil Leon Guerrero. He said much of that investment is related to non-military construction activity on Guam.

"This is really organic growth we're seeing like I said $10 million in residential construction half of that 10 million is for new homes we're seeing commercial activity not just in the northern part of the island, but the southern part of the island," he continued.

The data was compiled from the DPW permitting section along with the DOL Current Employment Report. Some of the findings show that half of all residential construction was for new homes built, with other projects such as home renovations, commercial building construction, commercial renovations and government infrastructure projects. Yigo showed to be the village with the most new homes being constructed, Tamuning with the most commercial construction activity and Dededo was the village with the most construction overall.

"So really when you look at all the data, and you factor in what's happening and when you factor in that the military buildup hasn't happened yet, you can see that Guam is growing without this military buildup and then you can see the buildup on the horizon and hopefully Guam will grow further," he said.

There are currently 213 total construction projects with a quarter of them completed so far. Guam Contractors Association president James Martinez says news of construction growth is always good news, saying, "And it shows that we're recovering from an economic downturn over the last couple of years 1201 but this money, these projects that are ongoing right now are pretty much icing on the cake 1207

He says despite the expected $500 million in milcon projects for this fiscal year, he expects a lot more work outside of the military as well such as a demand for more hotel rooms and more recreational activities for tourists. Along with this increased construction activity, it also bodes well for opportunities of employment in the construction industry.

"We need folks that are underemployed and unemployed and don't have the skills set to get those skills so you can avail yourself of these jobs we don't want people to pass these opportunity by and we don't want to be criticized for saying this is just for the foreign workers it's not for the foreign workers, it's for the local workers but you really need to put yourself in a position to get those jobs by getting the skills training that are need to do the jobs," he said.

According to the Governor's Office, there are 854 construction jobs available for local workers. Based off the DOL report, there are over 7,100 construction workers on Guam with over 1,100 H2 workers in the construction industry. 

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