GDOL to implement job search requirement for unemployment claimants

GDOL director David Dell'Isola (PNC photo)

The Guam Department of Labor will soon require those receiving pandemic-related unemployment benefits to look for a job.

The main question…is when?

GDOL director Dave Dell’Isola told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Thursday morning that he’s already heard complaints from employers that some employees don’t want to come back to work.

Dell’Isola said that the department has already announced that employees who refuse to return to work can be reported to the Department of Labor.

GDOL will then cut those workers off from receiving PUA.

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Dell’Isola said that he has seen a drop in PUA claims and an increase in employment all of which are good signs.

However, he said that a job search requirement will soon be implemented to make sure that people receiving unemployment benefits are making an effort to get off the program.

The question, though, is when to activate that requirement.

“I’m already working with the vendor to work on how do we do job search. Once the governor says yes, we’re gonna turn it on, you have to do three job searches a week and have to upload that proof every week. So are we there yet? I don’t think we’re there yet. You’re talking about releasing tens of thousands of people to go out and do three job searches every week, and there has to be a diverse inventory of work for us to justify it,” Dell’Isola said.

Dell’Isola said that this is especially true since the tourism industry is still down.

However, he said that labor trends still look to be moving in the right direction and the job search requirement will be activated once the number and diversity of available jobs increases.

For those looking to change careers, or who’ve lost their jobs because the pandemic caused their employer to close down, Dell’Isola said that he’s in talks with GCC to start job-training programs to meet their needs.

Some of the job-training programs they’re looking at starting include HVAC, ship repair, and nursing.

Entrepreneurship training is in the works as well.

Those who are enrolled in training will be exempted from the job search requirement.

“If you’re unemployed because of COVID…then I have about $4 million that I can use to pay for your training…for you to go into a new career path. So what I’m telling you is, now is the time to start going down to the AJC…getting signed up..getting qualified for those programs and then start looking at the various training options that maybe you might want to consider,” Dell’Isola said.

He added: “I’m gonna keep preaching this because September is just around the corner.”