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New apprenticeship program preps Guam's high schoolers for future careers in tourism

The Guam Department of Labor and the Guam Community College have teamed up with local hotels for the Hotel Associate Youth Apprenticeship Program. Photo by Mar-Vic Cagurangan

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Guam Department of Labor and the Guam Community College have launched the Hotel Associate Youth Apprenticeship Program, or HAYAP, a joint initiative that seeks to pave the career paths in tourism for the island’s youth.

HAYAP, which is designed to equip youth with skills and experience for a future in Guam’s hospitality industry, provides high school students an opportunity to gain hands-on training with hotel partners and pursue careers in the hotel sector.

Officials said the program’s goal is to build a local workforce to mitigate Guam's recurring labor shortage.

“Apprenticeship programs are a proven model for success. We’ve seen the results with the Guam Registered Apprenticeship Program and similar programs in partnership with GCC."  Labor Director David Dell’Isola said.

David Dell'Isola

"Over the years, thousands have graduated from these programs and have gone on to successful and fulfilling careers, contributing to the local economy," he added.

Dell'Isola said the new program is designed to recreate the successful apprenticeship model in the classroom, offering students more alternatives and opportunities for career paths.

The labor department and GCC have teamed up with the private sector to identify areas in high demand.

"This will help our students gain relevant skills and prepare them for the future workforce while also meeting the needs of the job market,” the labor director said.

Hyatt Regency Guam and Hotel Nikko Guam registered as the first two hotels to employ six paid student apprentices. Other hotels that have joined HAYAP include Dusit Thani Guam Resort, Dusit Beach Resort, Bayview Hotel Guam, and Guam Plaza Resort and Spa. Several more hotels are lined up to join once they complete their apprenticeship standards.

The Guam Communitity College offers courses, such as rthe culinary program, that prepare students for jobs in the hotel industry. Photo courtesy of GCC

“The Youth Apprenticeship Program represents an innovative approach to workforce development. Instead of focusing solely on attracting experienced workers to fill shortages, this program focuses on cultivating new and up-and-coming talent for the job market,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said. 

“By offering vocational opportunities directly in schools, young people who may choose an alternate path from college can enter the workforce immediately after high school," Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said.

"This pathway provides students with a direct route to career readiness, aligning their interests and skills with industry needs,” he added.


Like a registered apprenticeship program, HAYAP is also an employer-driven apprenticeship program where students can work, get paid, earn their Certificate of Mastery, and pursue an Associate of Science in International Hotel Management.

In HAYAP, students get on-the-job training and mentorship and explore different careers in hospitality and tourism.

High school students must be at least 16 years of age to qualify and have completed at least one year of GCC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. To learn more about HAYAP, visit


Meanwhile, GCC,'s Business and Visual Communications Department today commenced the “6th Annual LinkUp! Turning Degrees into Careers,” a reverse job fair that offers a platform for soon-to-graduate students to showcase their resumes and portfolios to potential employers.


The two-day event, which continues tomorrow, is taking place GCC’s New Multi-Purpose Auditorium.


“This year, the event will be combined with Show & Sell, a bazaar

featuring student-owned businesses, offering an even broader spectrum of talent and innovation,” GCC said.


More than 20 student exhibitors and vendors are participating in the five-hour event.


“This setup ensures ample time for meaningful Interactions and connections

to be made,” GCC said. “The event promises an enriching experience for both students and employers, facilitating networking opportunities and the exchange

of ideas.”



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