GCC asks for $20.8 million budget for fiscal year 2022

GCC President Mary Okada presents their FY 2022 budget request. (PNC video capture)

The Guam Community College is asking for a budget of $20,833,797 for fiscal year 2022.

This represents less than a 1.9% increase over GCC’s FY 2021 appropriation level.

According to GCC board of trustees chair Frank P. Arriola, they are working “ferociously” to stand up training and educational programs to train and upskill Guam’s workforce, which has been adversely impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.

He said GCC’s budget request will support their programs and allow GCC to continue innovating and collaborating with its community partners to strengthen Guam’s workforce.

“I’m confident that this budget request is sufficient to move the college forward while simultaneously being fiscally ready, responsible, and conservative, given the government of Guam’s current fiscal challenges,” Arriola said.

For her part, GCC President Mary Okada said GCC continues to be a leader in career and technical workforce development, providing the highest quality student-centered, education and job training for Micronesia.

“I have had the distinct honor of presenting GCCs budget for the past 15 years. And I want to thank all of you for your continued support through the years,” Okada said.

He added: “As we begin to emerge from this pandemic, I often think of what the reimagined GCC would look like. Our role in our community has been increasingly important and residents are beginning to realize that the college plays a pivotal role in guiding through successful ventures, careers, and economic sustainability.”

For the past several months, Okada said GCC had some innovative successes in packaging training programs to support industry needs while seeking to find individuals interested in pursuing training, through the various boot camps, or in the island’s secondary or post-secondary programs.

“We have had amazing inspirational stories of where folks were before to where they are today and where they are headed now. It is my hope that these stories permeate throughout our community, to highlight that with determination, commitment, and perseverance, they can avail of something spectacular and life-changing, and begin to tell their story,” Okada said.

She added: “As I close my testimony this morning, I can assure you that the $20,833,797 is a great investment in our people. During these difficult times, education, and economic diversification are at the forefront of our island’s recovery and sustainability.”