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GOV. Eddie Calvo’s directive to cut government spending by $43 million has challenged government agencies to explore belt-tightening solutions to generate savings. However, these solutions may displace a big number of government workers.
To help these displaced workers, the Guam Displacement, Education, and Training Committee of the Governor’s Spending Cuts Task Force held a meeting yesterday at the GCIC building to discuss possible measures that could help workers smoothly transition out of government work into possible new job or entrepreneurial opportunities.
These supportive measures include training, higher education, apprenticeship, and entrepreneurial programs that may be availed of by the displaced workers through Guam Community College, University of Guam, Guam Trades Academy, and potential private sector industry partners.
Spending Cuts Task Force Chairman Vince Leon Guerrero convened the committee, which includes Alfredo Antolin of the Agency for Human Resources Development, George Santos of the Guam Department of Labor, and representatives from Guam Community College, Guam Chamber of Commerce and the University of Guam.
A concern raised during the meeting was how to seamlessly transition the displaced workers from training and education into a new job with less impact on their capacity to support themselves and their families.
Another concern raised was how workers can get scholarships or funding for these training and education opportunities.
Several possible ideas were presented by the group, such as looking at the Dislocated Worker Program of the One-Stop Career Center and partnering with the private sector for internships. The Adult and Dislocated Worker component of the Workforce Investment Act was also recommended as a possible scholarship or funding resource.
Leon Guerrero said the committee has to consolidate all of the information presented in order to meet the May 15 deadline.