Naholowaa Joins Community Dialogue for Development of Sustainable Workforce Initiatives for Guam
Acting Labor director speaks to students, stakeholders at GCC buildup forum
Immediate Release: February 18, 2011
Department of Labor Acting Director Leah Beth O. Naholowaa is reinforcing the agency’s focus on the Calvo Administration’s mission to build a sustainable Guam workforce beyond the military buildup and announced plans to launch a new summer internship and education program with the Guam Community College.
“If we want our people to have first pick of the jobs of our future we have to give them the opportunities to prepare them for this task,” Naholowaa told participants.  “We must start training our young people now.  We have to prepare them for these careers with experience and guidance that goes beyond our classrooms.”
Naholowaa was invited to speak as a panelist at the Guam Community College’s Open Campus Day forum that featured community stakeholders speaking about sustaining the local workforce beyond the military buildup. Among the many DOL initiatives highlighted, she unveiled a new summer internship opportunity for students interested in information technology.  The program is a collaborative effort between DOL and GCC that will provide hands on experience for those interested in entering computer-based and information management systems careers.
“I already have become heavily engaged in dialogue with officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and have established the contacts necessary to ensure we have the support we need for our local workforce,” Naholowaa said.  “But it is critical that our efforts to sustain our workforce beyond the buildup begin with our investment in programs and mentorships right here in our community.”
In addition, Naholowaa touted the success of DOL’s Passport-to-Careers Program, an initiative that provides critical on-the-job training in Guam’s most demand-driven industries.  More than 500 high school students have gained knowledge and experience in tourism, health, construction, education and information technology-related industries, including courses and guidance in personal finance management, interpersonal communication skills and conflict resolution.
Passport-to-Careers is funded through the Workforce Investment Act and is one of many programs DOL is expected to expand and enhance in the years ahead.
“Our federal counterparts have observed that Guam’s workforce is sufficient enough to provide for the needs of the military buildup and they have expressed their support for ensuring that our people will be given priority for these jobs,” Naholowaa said.  “DOL is poised to prioritize experience and training-focused programs to further prepare our community for the opportunities ahead.”
For more information, contact the Department of Labor at 475-7074.

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