GCC will need 15% reserve to make payroll
Wednesday, June 12th 2013, 4:57 PM ChST
GUAM - By August, the Guam Community College anticipates their budget to run dry.
As GCC president Dr. Mary Okada reported at Tuesday's table talks, a discussion hosted by senator Aline Yamashita, the college's general fund only covers salaries and benefits, which won't even be enough to meet August's payroll if their 15-percent reserve or 2-million dollars isn't released.
"After that I would need the 15-percent reserve to continue to pay the employees until the end of the fiscal year" Okada explained.
Until then, Okada explains another funding source is in jeopardy - the Manpower Development Fund, or funding derived when construction workers or h2 workers are brought into Guam. Typically, these funds are used to support apprenticeship-related operations. For Fiscal Year 2013, close to $1.7-million was appropriated for this use.
"Although we have an appropriation, the cash is not coming in. That's why there's additional legislation to support the college in terms of sustaining the apprenticeship program and providing some funding for operations through the tourist attraction fund. The request was for 2-million dollars" the president explained.
Bill 84 introduced by Senator Tina Muna Barnes recognizes an audit indicating GCC has yet to receive these funds, resulting in cuts to funding contractual services, supplies, and other operational costs as well as forcing the cancellation of important programs crucial to building up the island's workforce ranging from utilities to hospitality and childcare services.
"You have to continue the apprenticeship program with over 350 apprentices probably closer to 400 apprentices right now this is building the workforce in anticipation of all these other jobs and opportunities that are coming up. And although the military buildup has been delayed a little bit, it has given us time to get people trained" Okada revealed.
But it doesn't stop there -- Okada says GCC is covering the salaries for the teachers providing career and technical education at the island's high schools. With the Okkodo high School expansion set for completion in 2014, they'll need more GCC staff for the school's culinary program.
"A couple of years ago we brought on Okkodo when Okkodo was built. The college made it a commitment because the academic year was in August so we provided the funds to get it started but if you look at the GCC budget since that started we have not been given the additional resources for those teachers that we hired" Okada confessed.
KUAM News files show 45 GCC faculty servicing the island's high schools.
BBMR Director John Rios confirms GCC has submitted their request for the release of their 15% reserve. He adds his assurance that BBMR will release portions as long as justification is provided.