Senator James Moylan has expressed his support for the administration’s plan to offer incentives to the island’s employers.
During the economic forum this morning, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Labor director Dave Dell’Isola announced that the administration plans to subsidize new hires for 3 months so that businesses can get back on their feet.
“I was ecstatic to hear the Director of the Department of Labor, David Dell’Isola, announce at the Economic Forum this morning that his agency will be introducing an initiative to help subsidize private-sector jobs. The program is similar to Bill 76-36 (COR), which I introduced in March of this year, along with Senators Tony Ada and Chris Duenas. The ‘Displaced Employee Workforce Incentive’ (DEWI) Act was part of our “Let’s Get Guam Moving” Initiatives for Economic Recovery,” Moylan said in a statement.
According to Moylan, the DEWI Act would create full-time, private-sector jobs, subsidized through federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). These positions would be for one year and would require the employer to provide all the benefits which are offered to other full-time employees of the organization. The compensation would also be fair market wages for the individual’s skill set and the position, and the objective would be that the employer considers keeping that employee even after the program expires.
He said few minor differences between Bill 76-36 (COR) and the initiative announced this morning is that the Department of Labor is proposing a 90-day program and capping the subsidy at $9.25 an hour. While this is a good start, Moylan said this is a short-term band-aid solution which may not be adequate for the intended objectives.
“I am certain there are concerns with the funding, but the reality is that the priority of the federal ARP funds is intended to invest into the economic recovery of our island, and not just about addressing government shortfalls. After all, if we improve our economy, our tax base improves, hence reducing public sector financial shortfalls,” the senator said.
He added: “I have discussed the “Let’s Get Guam Moving” Initiatives with the Governor previously, and it certainly seemed that there was some interest as I left her Chambers. We are glad that they are considering a program that somewhat mirrors the DEWI Act, but instead of just taking pieces of it, I recommend that the administration incorporate Bill 76-36 (COR) so that hundreds of families would have a steady and reliable income, and more individuals on island would have access to medical insurance and other private sector benefits.”