Expanding island workforce detailed at Guam Industry Forum - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Expanding island workforce detailed at Guam Industry Forum

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The discussion on the military buildup carries on during Day 2 of the 2018 Guam Industry Forum. The hot topic: Guam's workforce.

With the impending Marine relocation to Guam, hundreds of local and international businesses gathered to learn how they can partake in this $8.7 million project. An opportunity that not only companies can take advantage of, but our island, as well, which is why discussing Guam's workforce, education, and available resources was imperative at today's forum.

Guam Department of Labor Director Dr. Sam Mabini said, "It'll be important to all the participants. These are business people who are either on-island or new to island who want to take advantage of the great opportunity regarding the military buildup and many of them may not be quite familiar with the realities of where workforce stands on Guam and the recruiting methods and some of the resources that we have available to them."

And it's especially important to Guam's local workforce and economy, as Mabini said, "We want to grow our economy. There's some misconceptions of what jobs are available. Typically, when they hear of construction, they think of the typical work like carpentry, masonry, whatnot but there's loads of other jobs as well. Some that are not as evident and what we want our businesses to do, which is what I'll be appealing, is to have them be more engaged with the Department of Labor, our schools, our colleges, technical institutes, help them understand what are the jobs that are available, what are the skills needed, and so that we can work together to prepare."

And the DOL and schools such as the Guam Community College, University of Guam, and GCA Trades Academy are willing to provide the necessary resources to prepare individuals.

GCC President Dr. Mary Okada told KUAM News, "There's an opportunity, an innovation that GCC has decided to move forward with particularly addressing the needs of industry. So in other words, we thought about "okay, we can provide these opportunities, but what is everybody looking for?"

An idea that will require the cooperation and cohesion with participating businesses. "We're going to be hoping that individuals would contact us so they can provide what their needs are because we're hoping to roll out a construction boot camp," Dr. Okada added.

These speakers are hoping to appeal to attendees to create a beneficial partnership for both their company and the people of Guam. And as soon as possible.

"We have about a ten year span, but immediately we have dire needs and we have ways to start moving people into fields where they can move from minimum wage to a lot higher wages to improve their cost of living," she said.

As the forum comes to a close, we will just have to see what will happen in the near future.

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