Guam Community College brought out two batches of graduates over the weekend and earlier today with hopes of them being part of the rebuilding of Guam’s economy and beyond.
With Black Construction as a private-sector partner sponsor of the boot camp, GCC hosted the 2nd construction boot camp in-person completion ceremony at their college campus, with 21 participants completing the four-month training, which included construction trade skills in blueprint reading, carpentry, welding, and HVAC.
Participants also became certified in Heartsavers, which is for CPR/first aid, OSHA-10, Work Ethic, and WorkKeys (National Career Readiness Certificate).
GCC Continuing Education Workforce Development Assistant Director Denise Mendiola tells PNC that with this group of graduates, most of them were able to not only gain employment right away but got high scores in their work keys assessments on a national level.
“So if we compared them to national standards, we had two that scored platinum which is the highest and then we had about 4 who scored gold and we had a few silver. So it’s platinum, gold, silver, and bronze and what that means is these assessments determine how ready people are for careers and so our cohort scored very high,” Mendiola said.
She added: “This is the first group that we’ve had since COVID and this group did not want to be online. They wanted to be in a setting where they’re face to face with each other and so they were very motivated to get to the next level. And I think that’s what helped them to really focus on their studies and learn everything they possibly could of the construction industry because they knew they wanted to get better careers and a situation where they could be with other people and work with other people.”
Meanwhile, GCC also had their motorcade graduation ceremony over the weekend and gave 258 degrees and certificates.
Each graduate was allowed as many guests, including the graduate, as can legally and safely occupy in one vehicle.
At the construction boot camp completion ceremony, GCC President Mary Okada said she hopes that all of their graduates will start working or at least look for jobs that they were trained to do from GCC and help build back Guam’s economy.
“So for these particular students, their advantage is they’ve been working with employers through this boot camp process. For all of our other students that graduated in the various programs whether it be from practical nursing, if they aren’t already employed then there’s an opportunity for the college to help them. We do have some job announcements that are posted on our websites for students to access and we continuously work with employers to work with individuals to support their workforce,” Okada said.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrerro and Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio were also in attendance at the in-person graduation ceremony.
Okada says GCC will have upcoming boot camp programs in Medical, Building, Home Health Care, IT, Survey Technician, and Diesel Mechanics.
She hopes to have at least some of these programs start in the next couple of weeks.
There will also be another Truck Driving, Ship Repair, and Construction boot camp starting with Ship Repair in June.