GCC: “Keep Your Guard Up” Briefs Employers

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Guam – Frank Perez of AC Technology is looking to hire air conditioning techs.

“We just expanded our company, so it’s based on the number of employees we can find,” he said.

Perez, who is a staff sergeant in the Guam Air National Guard, attended this morning’s Keep Your Guard Up initiative in the hope of finding those employees among 600 Guam Army National guardsmen returning from deployment next month. Of that number, 287 soldiers will return home to Guam unemployed.

AC Technology is one of over 20 employers in the Guam Community College Apprenticeship program that attended today’s briefing in the GCC Multipurpose Auditorium.

“We want our soldiers to stay on Guam,” said Lt. Col. Robert Crisostomo, speaking to the employers about giving these men and women that have served their country a chance to prove their worth in the private sector. 

[Lt. Col. Robert Crisostomo of the Guam Army National Guard briefs GCC Apprenticeship employer partners about job opportunities for nearly 300 unemployed soldiers returning to the island next month.]

GCC and the Guam Army National Guard surveyed the soldiers while they were still in Afghanistan about their interests and their training to date. With the results of the survey, GCC’s Office of Continuing Education & Workforce Development (CEWD) formulated a 90-day industry certification program in six areas: automotive general service technician; A+ computer networking; electrical; emergency medical technician; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and supervision and management.

“We have approximately 183 guardsmen who have expressed interest in this 90-day program, with around half already committed to the program in writing,” according to Rowena Perez, CEWD program specialist. The certification program will also allow interested soldiers to enroll in the corresponding associate degree or certification program at the College, Perez said

GCC has also given the deployed soldiers access to KeyTrain, the training component of WorkKeys. WorkKeys is the skills assessment program that GCC program specialist Chelsa Muna-Brecht told employers will lead to a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) for returning soldiers. The NCRC validates a person’s skills with regard to over 18,000 jobs.

“WorkKeys finds the right fit,” said Muna-Brecht.

Other employers who attended today’s briefing included Frank Cruz of MarBen and Associates. “Right now we’re really looking for plumbers,” said Cruz, who is recruiting for jobs for the new hotel Dusit Thani being constructed in Tumon.

“We’re looking for drivers,” said Sen. Mike Limtiaco, who attended on behalf of his family’s company, Pacific Trucking.

According to Lt. Col. Crisostomo, the soldiers are scheduled to return sometime in mid-January.

Employers can also contact the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Office at 735-0456 for more information and with regard to job opportunities for returning soldiers.