GCA Trades Academy establishes training unit in DOC

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DOC and GCA Trades Academy have teamed up to establish a training unit within the prison to prepare individuals to re-enter the community.

Guam – The Department of Corrections has teamed up with the Guam Contractors Association Trades Academy to establish a training unit within the prison to prepare chosen individuals to re-enter the community and the local workforce.

 

This is the first training program made for prisoners, and the Department of Labor is providing funding for the program. The Department of Corrections chooses the right clients for the program to go through the training and eventually serve the community or continue their education. These are the beginning steps of a mid- to long-term plan to train more skilled workers.

Guam Department of Labor Director, Sam Mabini, said “this is the beginning stage of training up individuals who are resources. In this case, people who are going to re-enter into the community. We want them to be successful so they can fill in the slots of those workers who come from elsewhere so we don’t have to get foreign laborers, if we can avoid it.”

The GCA Trades Academy is using the National Center for Construction Education and Research, or NCCER, curriculum to train the 10 individuals currently enrolled in the program. They will gain the same skills learned by craft professionals on Guam and throughout the U.S. mainland.

Bert Johnston is the Education Director of the Trades Academy, and has scheduled 8-week classes to be conducted in the prison Monday through Friday so clients can complete 85 hours of contact time. Johnston stated “we’re using the core curriculum which is the standard curriculum that’s used for all the different crafts, so if they want to go into plumbing or carpentry or HVAC, they have the ability to pivot after that.”

The Trades Academy is working with the American Job Center to provide employment for their trainees once they are released back into the community.