Guam - The Agency for Human Resources Development helped 250 high school students gain workforce experience through the Passports to Careers Program. And now through a new pilot program, hundreds of young adults will get that same opportunity.

In a year's time, young adults between the ages of 18 to 21 will get the opportunity to join Guam's workforce through a new pilot program, the Workforce Investment Act Young Adults Employment and Training Program.  AHRD director Alfredo Antolin told KUAM News, "We have a total of 400 young adults who will be enrolling in the program and we're going to farm them out to the different businesses and government agencies."

According to Antolin, the eight-week program aims to increase credentials by offering training, leadership and skills development and mentorship to young adults who are unemployed and not in school. "Usually in the work industry, people say, 'What's your experience? What's your background? What do you know?', so we're trying to help this population we have that can be given this experience so it will be easier for them to find a job," he added.

And just this week, AHRD sent about a dozen young adults to the Guam Election Commission to get to work. "What's happening now is the Guam Election Commission, of course, one of the government agencies who need assistance with preparation for the election. So I figured they would be the first agency that we want to help out," Antolin continued.

He adds because young adults between the ages of 18 to 21 are the biggest population of voters, he hopes the program participants will aid in encouraging more of their peers to register to vote and make a difference.

Ultimately he says, it's been an exciting task since becoming director this year in trying to finding creative ways to build the workforce and help the community, adding, "And it's federally-funded, so it doesn't tap into our local economy, but it helps in a local economy because all of their salary and all that goes back in the economy in return."

He adds the program is still open for applications with plans to put applicants in 100 installments throughout the year. For more information, you can head to the One-Stop Career Center at the GCIC Building in Hagatna or call 475-7000 to apply.