DFS partners with GDOL for apprenticeship program

Photo shows, from left, Svetlana Hunter, DFS Assistant General Manager of Operations, Charles Bell, DFS VP of Operations—MidPac, Phyllis Topasna, DOL Program Coordinator, David Dell’Isola, DOL Director, Catherine T. Galsim, DFS HR Director, Luana Meno, DFS Assistant HR Manager, and Gina Artero, DFS Assistant General Manager of Sales. (DFS photo)

DFS Group, the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, kickstarted their apprenticeship program at Tsubaki Tower’s Lina’La Lounge with ten of their journey workers consisting of Team Leads and Product Sales Managers from T Galleria by DFS, Guam.

These journey workers will provide direct supervision to apprentices in the program, which includes both current DFS employees and new hires, to ensure that the necessary instruction and guidance to perform tasks safely, correctly, and efficiently are communicated.

DFS is committed to giving back to the community by creating and developing a highly skilled workforce in partnership with the Department of Labor (DOL) and will provide the apprentices a nationally recognized certificate from the US Department of Labor upon completion of the program.

“I congratulate DFS for starting one of the first apprenticeship programs in the hospitality industry since the COVID-19 pandemic. The luxury retail staple is taking advantage of all that the Guam Registered Apprenticeship Program has to offer, including how customizable the program is. Their goal of providing their customers unforgettable service across the store starts from the ground up. The program that took about a year to design will train up existing workers into journeymen to set up a framework for new employees. Hopefully, this trailblazes a new path for others in the industry to also take advantage of the tax credits, the reimbursed training expenses including salaries, and the ability to tailor their workforce to their company’s needs. The Department of Labor is proud to partner with DFS to rebuild and reshape our workforce,” said Department of Labor Director David Dell’Isola.

DFS worked for several months with DOL to extensively plan and carefully design an apprenticeship program that integrated their customer service curriculum into the US Department of Labor Customer Service Representative Standard. During the term of the apprenticeship program, the apprentice will receive both instruction and experience to develop into a practical and versatile worker.

“A warm thank you to the Guam Department of Labor for their partnership and guidance to the DFS teams all along the way. We are looking forward to continuously elevating the service standards provided to our customers in Guam and to supporting the overall personal, heartwarming and effortless traveler experience on the island,” said Charles Bell, Vice President of Operations, MidPacific, DFS Group.

“This is an exciting venture for DFS to be able to partner with the Guam Department of Labor and to be a part of the community’s continuous strive to build a sustainable and highly skilled workforce. We want to establish that DFS is not just a leading luxury travel retailer, but also a stellar training and development ground for talents,” said Catherine T. Galsim, Human Resources Director for MidPacific, Japan and Korea, DFS Group.

The event was attended by the Director of Guam Department of Labor, David Dell’Isola and its Program Coordinator, Phyllis Topasna. Both Dell’Isola and Topasna presented DFS with the signed Standards of Apprenticeship Program and welcomed the journey workers to the start of the Apprenticeship Program journey.