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GCC breaks ground on Guam's Workforce Development Center

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam Community College broke ground on its $3.2 million renovation of its Workforce Development Center in Barrigada on May 6.

The project, awarded to American Builder LLC, will modernize the facility’s workshop spaces and training rooms designed by Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects. The facility renovation will include updated training equipment. 


The project is expected to be completed in 2025. The WDC will house GCC’s ship repair work-ready bootcamps in providing entry- and journey-worker-level training in the construction and marine repair trades. 


Guam has a large U.S. Naval base and is a commercial shipping hub between the United States, Asia, and Islands in the North Pacific. 

As an island territory, Guam is reliant on the marine shipping industry for commerce and trade activity.  There are three ship repair facilities providing maintenance and ship repair services for both military and commercial ships.


“It takes a very unique leader and team to recognize when they have a great opportunity,” Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio said. “President Okada and her team were able to secure the property and take advantage and to be very relevant with what the shortages are now in the labor work force. These shortages are in the area of ship repair and there is a growing need and growing demand for us to expand the workforce to support these kinds of jobs.”


Guam’s construction sector is the second largest private sector, with over 10% of the workforce employed in this quickly growing sector.

Construction on Guam is growing as the military increases its presence on island with the U.S. Marines moving from Okinawa and the increasing demand for civilian residential and commercial construction.

The total value of building permits for civilian projects and Department of Defense construction contracts is increasing substantially.


“For the past several years, we have been engaged with conversations on the various initiatives for economic diversification,” said Dr. Mary A. Y. Okada, GCC president and CEO.

"Through the governor’s initiative with the Guam Chamber of Commerce and Guam Economic Development Authority, co-led by Joe Cruz and Siska Hutapea, construction and ship repair were identified as occupational areas that needed capacity expansion. Through the college’s participation in these discussions, our mission to support building the career and technical workforce for our islands takes center stage,” she added.


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