GHRA touts pre-apprenticeship program

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GHRA's program acts as a precursor to DOL's Registered Apprenticeship Programs, which offers individuals the training and certification necessary to get more than a minimum-wage position.

Improving service excellence and hospitality is the clear goal behind the newly established pre-apprenticeship program in hopes of boosting Guam’s tourism industry.

The Guam Hotel & Restaurants Association has been working together with the Department of Labor, along with other training providers, to develop this free 12-week training program.

What sets it apart from other training courses on the island is that upon successful completion, participants will obtain a national certification, required licenses for employment, and gas cards for transportation — all at no cost.

Mary Rhodes, president of GHRA, says she hopes to remove all barriers to entry within the industry through this program.

“With our 284 pre-apprentices, we have 22 who are currently unemployed and so we’re hoping to have 100 percent placement for those 22 people. But the remaining are actually current employees, incumbent workers. And so through this program, we’re hoping that they will move on to our registered apprenticeship program which GHRA has been a sponsor since 1986,” Rhodes said.

GHRA’s program acts as a precursor to DOL’s Registered Apprenticeship Programs, which offers individuals the training and certification necessary to get more than a minimum-wage position.

According to Rhodes, the pre-apprenticeship program is a great alternative for those who would like to further their education through apprenticeship.

“We’re hoping that through education and training, everybody will actually be able to improve their quality of life. And with the opportunities in the workplace, we’re hoping that everybody will consider further education through apprenticeship but at the same time also stay at their employers. So we’re hoping to lower turnover rates and retain employees and promote more satisfaction and give everybody upward mobility with jobs in the future for supervisory management positions,” she said.

GHRA is the only training provider that offers training within hotels and restaurants, including Hilton Guam Resort and Spa, Hyatt, Seafood Masters Inc. or Beachin Shrimp Two, Outback, and more.

For more information on this free program, call them at 649-1447.

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