Governor focuses attention on local efforts to spur construction activity at GCA event yesterday
May 16, 2012
The Governor told contractors yesterday that the slowdown in construction they saw over the last year is sobering, but hundreds of millions in upcoming local projects should spur profits and job growth in the near future.
Governor Eddie Baza Calvo spoke to the members of the Guam Contractors Association Board during the installation of the Board of Directors ceremony. Governor Calvo was asked to talk about the economic outlook of the construction industry, one that’s been hit hard by the months of uncertainty about the military buildup.
“We just recently got the news confirming about 5,000 Marine’s coming, so that’s helped,” Governor Calvo said. “But we’re pushing DOD to give us more information so you in the private sector can plan your futures better. It’s really unfortunate that all the uncertainty on the buildup caused the slowdown, but that just tells us that we have to move forward on local projects. We need to be the masters of our own future.”
The silver lining? The Governor tallied upcoming construction spending that will spur the industry with nearly half a billion dollars in activity. This is added to the $500-$600 million in ongoing construction, according to GCA president James Martinez:

  1. HOT Bonds – $55M
  2. DPW – $100M ongoing and $20M upcoming
  3. Private Activity Bonds – $20M — Lada Estates Senior Housing
  4. DOE ARRA – $60M
  5. Air Force projects – $20M
  6. Port Authority of Guam – $50M
  7. Utilities – $200M authorization

“In the short term, these projects will let the construction companies get a lot of work done and employ people,” Governor Calvo said. “The recovery will take some time, but it’s on the horizon and it’s something you and the community can look forward to. In the meantime, we’re working on long-term plans to keep money spent on construction on the island. Right now, much of the payroll employment for construction is spent on foreign workers, because we don’t have enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. And these are high-paying jobs that can provide good income for our local workers.”
The Governor said the long-term solution is to align the education outcomes of public schools with true workforce needs. A major and obvious need for years is for more workers skilled in the several trades of construction.
“We need to work with the talent we have here and build up our local workforce…we need to train more of our graduates to take jobs, and keep that money circulating in our economy.”
Contact Natalie Quinata at 488-6013 for more information.

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