Bill will fund workforce development and training at GCC

Senator Amanda Shelton (file photo)

Senator Amanda Shelton has introduced Bill No. 289-35 (COR), which seeks to appropriate $85,315 from the Manpower Development Fund to the Guam Community College (GCC) for workforce development and apprenticeship programs.

The Manpower Development Fund was created by Public Law 18-48 for the purpose of funding local manpower training programs on Guam by assessing registration fees on temporary alien labor and fines levied for violation of labor laws. In 2018, the fund received a boost in earnings after a bill which doubled the annual labor fee attached to the hiring of temporary foreign workers on H-2B visas was signed into law.

The fund is grown through fees paid by contractors for every H2-B visa worker arrival with 70 percent of this directed to the Guam Community College for apprenticeship programs while the remaining 30 percent is funneled to the Guam Department of Labor for unemployment surveys and funding the department’s Alien Labor Processing Division. The current appropriation will be leveraged to support the school’s paramedic training and truck driving boot camp.

“GCC has been a critical partner in preparing our people for work and equipping them with the right skills to enter the workforce,” said Senator Amanda Shelton. “The earnings from the Manpower Development Fund, fund a variety of training programs locally that address and alleviate the current labor shortage on island. GCC has demonstrated their commitment to providing training and investing in our labor force, and I am confident these funds will put more of our people to work. ”

The most recent Manpower Development Fund report from GCC cites 77 active employers hosting more than 350 apprenticeships through the island.

Referencing the report, GCC President Mary Okada stated, “This information helps to demonstrate that we are strengthening our workforce through meaningful partnerships by providing training and certifications required for many of the jobs.”

In the past year the college has held a handful of apprenticeship programs including its first Truck Driving Bootcamp and two Ship Transportation Boot Camps, both of which have produced more than 50 skilled workers. (press release)