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  • II. Strategic Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system.  The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs to support economic growth.  Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. 

II. a. 1. B. Workforce Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the current workforce, including individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in section 3 of WIOA4.  This population must include individuals with disabilities among other groupsin the State and across regions identified by the State.  This includes—

[4] Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.

[5] Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth, and others that the State may identify.

  • i. Employment and Unemployment

    Provide an analysis of current employment and unemployment data, including labor force participation rates, and trends in the State.

  • ii. Labor Market Trends

    Provide an analysis of key labor market trends, including across existing industries and occupations.

  • iii. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

    Provide an analysis of the educational and skill levels of the workforce.

  • iv. Skill Gaps

    Describe apparent ‘skill gaps’.

Current Narrative:

II. a. 1. B. Workforce Analysis

State Workforce Analysis

According to Worldometer, Guam’s population has grown from 158,647 in 2019 to 168,775.  The Guam Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics Report as of March 2019, shows the number of jobs on Guam increased by 110 from the prior quarter of December 2019 and 340 over the latest one year period since 2018.

There are over 49,920 individuals employed in the private sector.  The Services Industry is the largest employer with over 19,340 individuals employed followed by Retail Trade with 12,930 employees, Construction with over 6,760 employees, Transportation and Public Utilities at 4,370 followed by Finance, Insurance and Real Estate at 2,530 Wholesale Trade at 2,300 and Manufacturing at 1,340.

The public sector, which includes both the Federal and Local Governments have over 15,300 employees with the local government at 11,520 employees and the federal government at 3,780 employees.

Workforce totals show over 35,760 males and 29,460 females employed as of March 2019.

The Unemployment Situation of Guam Report as of September 2019 indicates that the Unemployment rate in Guam was 3.6 percent, a decrease of 1.0 percentage points from the June 2019 figure of 4.6 percent and unchanged from the September 2018 figure one year earlier.

Table 2, Employment Situation and Job Desire of Persons Outside the Civilian Labor Force and Reason Not Seeking Work, September 2019, show a tot of 52,710 individuals not in the workforce.  Of that number 51,420 did not want a job during the survey period.  1,290 wanted jobs during the survey period but did not look for work.  Some of the reasons given were:

  • Believe no job available
  • Cannot find work
  • School attendance
  • Family responsibility
  • Cannot arrange child care
  • Others

 

The Operational Planning Elements include:

  • State Strategy Implementation –

o   State Board Functions;

o   Implementation of State Strategy:    

  • Core Program Activities to Implement the State’s Strategy
  •  Alignment with Activities outside the Plan
  • Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Individuals
  • Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Employers
  • Partner Engagement with Educational Institutions
  • Partner Engagement with Other Education and Training Providers
  • Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access
  • Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials
  • Coordinating with Economic Development Strategies

State Operating Systems and Policies include:

1. State operating systems that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies, to include:

(A) (e.g., labor market information systems, data systems, communication systems, case management systems, job banks, etc.).

(B) Data-collection and reporting processes used for all programs and activities, including those present in one-stop centers.

2. State policies that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies (e.g., co-enrollment policies and universal intake processes where appropriate).  In addition, provide the State’s guidelines for State-administered one-stop partner programs’ contributions to a one-stop delivery system.

3. State Program and State Board Overview:

(A) State Agency Organization

(B) State Board. Provide a description of the State Board, including-

(i) Membership Roster. Provide a membership roster for the State Board, including members’ organizational affiliations.

(ii) Board Activities. Provide a description of the activities that will assist State Board members and staff in carrying out State Board functions effectively.

4. Assessment and Evaluation of Core Programs and One-Stop Program Partners. 

5. Data Alignment and Integration is also included in the State Plan to describe the responsibilities of the administrative aspects of the core programs, along with the GWDB board to align and integrate available resources such as workforce and education data systems.

6. Priority of Service for Veterans is also featured in the State Plan.  Guam’s new State Plan will show the continuous implementation and monitoring of the priority of service provisions for veterans in accordance with the requirements of the Jobs for Veterans Act, codified at section 4215 of 38 U.S.C.  Guam also describes how veterans are assisted at the American Job Center especially the referral process for veterans determined to have a significant barrier to employment (SBE) to receive services from the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists. 

7.The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is also found in the new State Plan.

Guam’s strategy with the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) entails the collaborative effort made among the core programs and partner programs to implement the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) initiatives. It aims to improve the flow of workforce development efforts by streamlining planning and delivery services from multiple programs into a single customer-centered delivery system that is designed to meet WIOA implementation. All programs at the American Job Center (AJC) with the GDOL are located within the capital of Guam and all programs are working to offer more collaborative services or be co-located at the AJC. Program participants, stakeholders, employers, partners and collaborators are able to access customer centered services at the AJC which offers integration of services among partner agencies as well as renewed collaboration; improved access provided for services to adults, youth and dislocated workers programs; the use of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for training services, as well as other services more readily available in light of the current economic conditions dealing with COVID-19. 

Business Services Unit 

As mandated by WIOA, the Business Services Unit at the American Job Center offers businesses an opportunity to engage in partnerships focused on specific skill development for their operations that are much needed by general businesses on Guam. By working with the Guam Department of Labor, businesses can receive wage subsidies while training program participants (Guam Registered Apprenticeship Program, Work Experience, SCSEP); avail of the AJC’s free labor clinics (training sessions) for employers, managers, and business owners; avail of our free recruiting virtual online system, HireGuam website and mobile app; explore and research labor market data using our Labor Market Information (LMI); assist employers with information on hiring practices, employment laws, and access to local labor organizations. 

Since COVID-19 has entered our Guam shores, the employment needs for businesses have shifted its focus from recruiting and hiring talent to assisting with financial hardships utilizing federal funds and activating Rapid Response in which the BSU helps businesses to prepare for layoffs and assists with transitioning employees into new employment, training, education, and a possible new career path.   

The Business Services Unit is also looking into conducting virtual labor clinics and training for employers and their employee representatives starting in June 2020 when the government of Guam goes into Pandemic Condition of Readiness 3 (PCOR3). The first labor clinics will be from GDOL’s Fair Employment office and OSHA’s On-site Consultation program.

i. Employment and Unemployment

EMPLOYMENT

For Employment and Job Growth, the data on Guam’s employment was pulled from the Current Employment Survey (CES) conducted by the Guam Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data that is used in this report are available quarterly starting from September 1993 to the latest available of March 2019. As of March 2019, the most recent employment data shows that there is a total of 65,220 individuals employed. Of these employed, 49,920 (76.5%) were from the private sector, 11,520 (17.7%) from the Government of Guam (GovGuam), and 3,780 (5.8%) from the Federal Government.

Data between March 2010 to March 2019, showed an average total employment at 62,589 individuals of whom 47,079 (75.2%) worked for the private sector, 11,550 (18.5%) for GovGuam, and 3,960 (6.3%) for the Federal Government. (Source:  GDOL BLS, March 2019)

Labor Force Participation (or Non-Participation)

Continuing with a theme from last year’s economic report, which discussed another economic measure known as the “Labor Force Non-Participation Rate” or the percent of those individuals who COULD enter the labor force and look for work but CHOOSE not to enter or participate in the labor force. A simple correlation analysis using Guam BLS data on unemployment rate and labor force non-participation rate between December 1988 and June 2019 (CHART 3) confirms that these measures have low to no correlation (+0.028). In non-statistical terms, this means they have little relation to each other. Hence, even if the unemployment rate has been low or decreased, which usually reflects the strength of the economy and the ease of finding employment, it does not encourage individuals to enter the labor force and look for work.

The official unemployment survey already identified those who cannot find work because of “family responsibility” and “cannot arrange child care”, hence, above estimates have already taken into account those individuals who provided these reasons for not entering the labor force and looking for work. It is the adjusted number of 28,129 individuals (or 22.92% of the civilian labor force) who might respond to incentives or disincentives to decide whether or not to enter the labor force and look for work. As it turns out, there were two incentives (higher minimum wage and challenges with hiring H-2B employees) and one disincentive (Guam’s loss of waiver on time limits for able-bodied SNAP participants).

The Coronavirus pandemic affected most especially those employed from the private sector and a lot of businesses and employers as Guam was placed in shutdown by the Governor in March 2020.  Federal unemployment assistance is being prepared by the Guam Department of Labor to process the federal funds received to help provide economic relief and support to those who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) will be receiving the unemployment funds in increments as was recently approved with an initial amount of $276 million toward the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Programs.  The U.S.Department of Labor (USDOL) accepted Guam’s unemployment document for both of these programs, the PUA and FPUC Programs.

Employment Concepts such as employment data, except those for the Federal Government, refer to persons on establishment payrolls who received pay for any part of the pay period, which includes the 12th of the month.  For Federal Government establishments, employment figures represent the number of persons who occupied positions on the last day of the calendar month.  Intermittent workers are counted if they performed any service during the month.

The data excludes proprietors, the self-employed, unpaid volunteer or family workers and domestic workers in households.  Salaried officers of corporations are included.  Government employment covers only civilian employees, military personnel are excluded.

Persons on establishment payrolls who are on sick leave (when pay is received directly from the firm), on paid holiday or paid vacation, or who work during a part of the pay period and are unemployed or on strike during the rest of the period are counted as employed.  The Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey counts a person employed by two or more establishments at each place of employment.  Not counted as employed are persons who are laid off, on leave without pay, or on strike for the entire period or who are hired but have not been paid during the period.

Industrial Classification

Establishments reporting on the department’s Form BLS-CES 3 are classified into industries on the basis of their principal product or activity determined from information on annual sales volume.  This information is collected on a supplement to the quarterly shuttle questionnaire.  For an establishment making more than one product or engaged in more than one activity, the entire employment is included under the industry indicated by the most important product or activity.  Employment series are classified in accordance with the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, U.S. Office of Management and Budget.  The 1972 Classification was used for the CES until March 1989 when a change to the 1987 edition was made.

UNEMPLOYMENT

The Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Guam Department of Labor continues to provide the periodic analysis of the unemployment situation on Guam. The Unemployment Rate in Guam for June 2019 was 4.6 percent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the March 2019 figure of 4.3 percent and an increase of 0.8 percentage points from the June 2018 figure of 3.8 percent. 

As of Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 999 employers/businesses on Guam have registered on HireGuam and filed over 18,950 employee separation notices for their displaced employees. As a direct result from COVID-19, these numbers will continue to grow until our economy is revitalized.

ii. Labor Market Trends

According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Guam’s Economic Outlook 2020, there are leading indications that the three primary sources of inflows of funds to Guam are tourism, federal expenditures, and construction capital investment which are likely to simultaneously increase up to and during the outlook period. Guam's economy has exhibited remarkable stability and expansion.

 As of March 9, 2020, the Guam Department of Labor posted about 1,278 job vacancies. According to the HireGuam database, there are about 2,187 potential candidates registered in the current workforce system looking for work. As of April 28, 2020, current HireGuam data shows that the number of job vacancies have significantly decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a 458 count difference of jobs available. However, the number of job seekers registered has increased with a 202 count difference in which more people are looking for work. 

March 2019 preliminary statistics show the total number of jobs increased by 110 from the prior quarter of December 2018 and 340 over the latest one year period since March 2018. For the latest quarter, the Construction industry showed the greatest increase of 260 jobs, followed by an increase of 160 jobs in Services. Over the year, private sector employment increased by 720 jobs whereas Federal and Government of Guam employment in the Executive branch decreased. Over the year, Construction employment jumped by 960 jobs. In comparison to the previous year, private average hourly earnings increased from $13.80 to $14.22, average weekly hours paid increased from 36.8 to 36.9 resulting in an increase in the average weekly earnings figure from $496.28 to $525.12.

The unemployment rate reflected an increase in the number of persons unemployed and an increase in the number of persons counted in the Not in the Labor Force category. The number of persons Not in the Labor Force increased by 3,670 from 49,700 in March 2019 to 53,370 in June 2019. For the June 2019 survey period, 2,860 persons, or 5.4 percent in the Not in the Labor Force category indicated that they wanted a job but did not look for work for a variety of reasons. Whereas, 95 percent in the Not in the Labor Force category indicated that they did not want a job during the survey period.

Labor Market Trends at a glance: 

Current Employment Statistics

Employment

iii. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

The last Guam WIOA State Plan for FY2018 reported its findings from the 2010 Guam educational attainment data by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report found that 79.4% of Guamanians who were 25 years and over graduated from high school and the 20% did not finish. A high school diploma is the most valued requirement by employers for an entry level position in which the 20% could easily be susceptible to unemployment and/or displacement (based on the July 2011 Employers Survey Report from the Guam Community College). 

Therefore, the education and skills levels of the workforce is not currently available at this time due to the recent operational suspension of the Guam Census related to the direct effects of COVID-19. However, we did gather data on homelessness before the pandemic hit our shores in March 2020.

Homelessness 

A collaborative partnership with the government of Guam, Guam Continuum of Care, and the Guam Homeless Coalition mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, conducts annual counts of homeless individuals known as the Guam Homeless Point-in-Time Count. In 2018, the report published that there was a total of 854 persons counted, of which 727 were unsheltered and 127 were sheltered. The table below represents the detail breakdown of this summary:

Table 4

Although the number of homeless individuals identified in 2018 remained relatively unchanged from 2017, the total number of homeless households and persons identified has decreased by 31% from 2015 to 2018. The number of households with adults only continues to be higher than the number of households with adults and children. This pattern can be seen in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Persons by year

Homeless Veterans: Guam is moving toward its goal of ending veteran homelessness. The Guam Homeless Coalition reported a decrease in homeless veterans living in temporary shelters. Veteran service providers play a crucial role in the successful placement of homeless veterans in permanent housing. These service providers actively participate in outreach events and in the Homeless Outreach Team.

The future outlook for homeless veterans remains positive, as Guam has been in receipt of additional U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUDVASH) vouchers. The Continuum of Care funded program, Housing First, and the ESG Program, continue to serve homeless veterans.

Barriers to employment for the homeless: The figure below reflects self-reported barriers to employment as identified by 311 respondents. Respondents were allowed to cite multiple reasons in the survey. The most common barrier to employment identified was lack of transportation. The lack of education or skill was the second most common barrier to employment cited. Child care, health, and lack of personal identification documents round out the next most common responses.

Self reported barriers

Homeless persons by ethnicities: The highest number of homeless persons continue to be Chamorros from Guam and Chuukese. Since 2017 however, the number of identified homeless Chamorro individuals from Guam has decreased by 9% while the number of identified homeless Chuukese individuals has increased by 39%.

Although the above figures are for 2018, on January 25, 2019, Guam conducted another Point In Time (PIT) count. The Guam Department of Education served as the lead agency in coordinating the PIT Count in partnership with the Guam Homeless Coalition. There was a total of over 250 volunteers from government and non-government agencies.

Preliminary data from the 2019 PIT Count indicates an increase in the number of identified persons.

Point in Time Count Stats

The last U.S. Census of 2010 reflected Chamorros as 32 percent of the Guam population of 159,358, and Chuuk migrants (the largest represented group of FAS migrants) at 7 percent.

iv. Skill Gaps

The  implementation  of  the  Workforce  Innovation  and  Opportunity  Act  (WIOA)  initiatives include  continuous robust engagement with employers and work sponsors, to address skill gaps.  Comprehensive work-based training with programs such as pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and other training were considered to encourage employers and job seekers to register with HireGuam.com.  All this is available at the American Job Center (AJC) and all are informed about career pathways and priority of service to individuals utilizing our services both online with HireGuam.com and walk-ins for those who come to the AJC seeking assistance for employment and training services.

The Guam Department of Labor plans to develop an In-Demand Jobs List to assist those who have been dislocated with the Coronavirus Pandemic in Guam. This list will be used even after the economy recovers and people get their jobs back or find other means of employment. It will serve as a match tool for employees with employers.

Services provided by the AJC include Rapid Response and layoff aversion to alleviate hardship with employers and businesses shutdown during this period and provide financial assistance to dislocated workers.  At the same time, this will show what kind of skills are needed by those applying for assistance through the AJC and the department has encouraged all businesses to register with HireGuam.com to avail of these services.  That way, when completed, the department will be able to see what the skill gaps are and fill those gaps with available resources.

As of March 2019, data shows that Guam employs about 65,220 residents with 3,120 seeking jobs. Then there are the 51,460 working age residents who are not active in the labor force. Within this non-working group, 95 percent indicated not wanting a job and the other 5 percent wanted a job but did not look for work for other reasons including: retirement, schooling, caring for children or elderly at home, according to the GDOL Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ March 2019 report.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, island businesses were asking for more qualified employees to fill job openings. Just in 2018, the Guam American Job Center (AJC) reported 5,854 jobs posted in hireguam.com, almost equal to the number of job seekers in the system.

So, the opportunity lies in matching job seekers with job openings. The challenge is improving the “supply” or quality of workers to effectively match the demand of employers. In Guam, there continues to be an imbalance between supply and demand. 

Construction Shortage

There is a shortage of skilled laborers. The Department is fully aware that businesses cannot effectively complete projects or willingly take on new projects given the lack of human resources. There are delays in construction of military projects, as well as in hospital improvements, schools, public infrastructure, and private buildings. Rising construction costs is also an issue. 

Guam residents have a low interest in the trades compared to less laborious or highly publicized indoor jobs, construction jobs have difficulty competing. In November 2016, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a study of Young Adults and Construction Trades, reporting a “low propensity to desire a career in the trades.” Construction seems too difficult and many just want less physical jobs or do not understand the income potential.

With Guam’s year-round tropical climate, the desire shrinks even further. To help increase interest, the GDOL have conducted outreach campaigns.  This includes touting $30,000 - $37,000 earning potential for carpenters, masons, metalworkers, electricians and heavy equipment operators (see graphic below). Training programs were also promoted through federal funds from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Construction Infographic

Participants in AJC training programs have Individual Employment Plans (IEP), are assisted to find employment, can enroll in training classes, and have wages covered with work sponsors so they may gain valuable work experience. 

The challenges of the growing skills gap prompted GDOL to take extra measures by examining labor data and ways to improve existing services. Meetings with businesses and training partners provided insights on how to better serve employers and job seekers - this is why our Business Services Unit (BSU) is in existence. The BSU connects with employers, as well as conducts outreach events and social media campaigns. They work to help find new workers, such as youth, women, veterans or skilled retirees to fill high demand fields.

Guam’s aging workforce has not been replaced fast enough by a new generation of skilled workers. Not enough students are considering construction or mechanical jobs. Also, experienced skilled workers may have shifted to other fields, such as our hospitality or utility sectors. With drug testing requirements or criminal history, many who could have been workers are disqualified or deterred to apply. These compounding factors have contributed to the shortage in skilled labor.

The department recently was awarded a State Apprenticeship Expansion grant to develop at least 500 new registered apprentices in the next three years. The State Apprenticeship Office resides within GDOL, partnering with businesses in IT, transportation, hospitality, allied health, utilities and construction. More businesses, especially in construction, are highly encouraged to develop their apprenticeship training program to grow and improve the quality of their workforce.

The College and Career Readiness Act of 2011 helped frame proactive changes in the schools, which was passed by the 31st Guam Legislature. The Act required students (as early as middle-school) to develop personal assessments of their skills, interests, and career goals tied to their education and their future jobs. 

GDOL supports this initiative by working with GDOE and GCC, offering valuable labor market information or the use of the hireguam.com system as tools for teachers, counselors, parents or students to better understand and plan for real job opportunities. For example, GDOL worked with J.P. Torres Success Academy to train students in construction trades, helping teachers and students plan for future training or job placement after graduation with a job fair conducted by GDOL on April 10, 2019 with over 10 employers from various industries looking to hire current high schoolers and future graduates of the school. More hands-on or “experiential learning” in schools can further raise awareness of a student’s capabilities or interests. 

JP Torres Success Academy Job Fair in April 2019 conducted by the American Job Center, Business Services Unit, managed by former Interim Program Administrator Malory Cruz.

Regional Approach

Having a regional approach for employment and training services has been a goal of island leaders, and GDOL is helping to lead this initiative. The agency was awarded a Reemployment Systems Integration grant of $2.1 million, the largest awarded in the nation. It funded improvement in Guam’s hireguam.com system, and provided the technical support to develop a version of the same system for CNMI, Palau and American Samoa. This new web of information on employment and training will better inform regional leaders, businesses, schools and citizens.

To make this all work, our businesses must recognize their critical strategic role. States that have successfully developed their workforce have strong partnerships between businesses and schools, with the labor department providing support. Ideally, building future and current human resources should be seen as a worthwhile investment for businesses and all involved. Accolades are credited to a former Department of Labor director. 

Goals Related to Veterans

Provide employment and training services to veterans with significant barriers to employment and connect employers with work-ready veterans.

Serve as a partner for veterans, ready with resources and expert guidance to assist them in transitioning from active duty service to civilian life, no matter when that transition occurred. GDOL AJC is committed to providing high quality services to Veterans.  AJC staff is fully invested in supporting the success of this important population.  Staff participate in ongoing professional development, and maintain updated knowledge on businesses seeking Guam’s veterans to fill open positions.

Strategic Goals:

  1. Increase the earning capacity of Guam’s workforce system customers by maximizing access to employment;
  2. Increase the earning capacity of Guam’s workforce system customers by maximizing access to and use of skills and credentialing;
  3. Increase the earning capacity of Guam’s workforce system customers by maximizing access to and use of life management skills;
  4. Increase the earning capacity of Guam’s workforce system customers by eliminating barriers to employment; and,
  5. Strengthen and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Guam’s workforce system.

 

The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) receives Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (U.S. DOL ETA) for programs and services under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and Title III as amended, for those served by Wagner-Peyser employment services.  WIOA ensures that adults, dislocated workers and youth who meet eligibility requirements may participate in a work experience pending available funding and determination that the activity aligns with the individual’s plan of service.

The vision for the American Job Center (AJC) network in Guam is all about the ongoing hard work and dedication of workforce professionals who align a wide range of publicly or privately-funded education, employment, and training programs, while also providing high-quality customer-centered services to all job seekers, workers and businesses.

With today’s technology and a knowledge-based economy, implementing WIOA and a job-driven one-stop delivery system is a high priority to assist job seekers access employment opportunities and help employers find qualified workers, to remain a leader in today’s global competitive economy. The board created a more integrated, effective job-driven workforce investment system with the one-stop delivery system involving its partners, the power of HireGuam.com, the Virtual One Stop (VOS) case management system, aligned with key elements of job-driven employment and training programs.

In order to support individuals with barriers to employment, Guam has new strategic goals and is ready to assist and prepare Guam’s residents be an educated and skilled workforce.  These are individuals with barriers to employment including youth with disabilities, ex-offenders, low income individuals and long-term unemployed residents especially since the COVID-19 pandemic that hit Guam in March 2020.  Therefore, the following objectives will have been implemented along with the five (5) new strategic goals.

  1. Encourage online learning with information technology and upskill and reskill individuals with barriers to employment so that they become more efficient to meet employer expectations and perform new and improved skills for the employer and have a higher earning capacity with new and improved marketable skills.
  2. Collaborate with workforce public and private partners to streamline services and minimize duplicate efforts to assist with education, training and employment so that workers can have skills to fill in-demand jobs.
  3. Invest in training and education for jobs that help these individuals become successful so that they find gainful employment and earnings pass the entry level of income to support their families and be productive members of Guam’s economy.
  4. Ensure that Guam’s performance measures are met with the current POST COVID-19 situation for economic recovery by having individuals with barriers to employment, including youth with disabilities, ex-offenders, and other individuals in this category, develop skills necessary to find unsubsidized employment through the programs offered under WIOA.

At the Guam American Job Center (AJC), we provide soft skills training, Work Experience (WE) training for WIOA program participants, and the case managers are also encouraged to use apprenticeship training models which uses On-the-Job Training (OJT) model including training through work experience and Classroom Training (CRT).

Career Pathways, work based learning, on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, apprenticeships), sector partnerships and promoting quality jobs are a few examples of how the Guam American Job Center (AJC) system can play a more strategic role in business engagement. AJC HireGuam, the Virtual One Stop (VOS) case management system is available to help build regional talent pipelines, address skill gaps, and create meaningful education and career pathways for a range of workers in key industries. This will demonstrate that ongoing partnerships between business and workforce development offer sustainable solutions to workforce challenges.

There are those who have challenges following a traditional career path, those affected by poverty and those who exist in a failure to succeed condition. Individuals with high barriers, including those with a disability, homelessness, and/or criminal records, most often have the least amount of leverage when it comes to advocating for themselves within the service delivery system. This means their struggle to obtain, retain and maintain employment is compounded by all the complications encountered by the system. Not only are they responsible for overcoming accessibility and suitability of employment issues, but they face the daily challenges of poor health care, housing, transportation, and survival issues experienced by those in severe poverty. It is our responsibility as a system to actively acknowledge these additional barriers exist, and structure our workforce system to meet their needs.

WIOA recognizes the need for a new game plan and the need to strengthen existing workforce development to adults and youth with barriers to economic success. The law increases the focus on serving the most vulnerable workers—low-income adults, individuals with barriers to employment including youth who have limited skills, lack work experience, and face other barriers to economic success as well as aligns planning and accountability policies across core programs to support more unified approaches to serving low-income, low-skilled individuals.  Skill gaps must also be addressed to create meaningful education and career pathways for job seekers in certain industries.

The WIOA Title IB Adult program provides workforce activities that increase, particularly for individuals with barriers to employment, the employment, retention, earnings, and attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials of adults age 18 and older, and as a result, improving the quality of the workforce, reducing dependency on public assistance, increasing economic self-sufficiency, and enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the nation. The WIOA Title IB Dislocated Worker (DW) program provides services to individuals who have been terminated through no fault of their own, laid- off, or have received notice of termination or layoff, from employment generally due to plant closures or downsizing. Self-employed individuals who are unemployed due to general economic conditions and individuals who meet the WIOA definition of a displaced homemaker may also be eligible for services.

WORK EXPERIENCE COMPONENT

For Adults and Dislocated Workers, work experience is an individualized career service within the Career Services and is defined as a planned, structured learning experience that takes place in the workplace for a limited period of time.  The Work Experience may be paid or unpaid, as appropriate and consistent with other laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Work experience may be arranged within the private sector, the non-profit sector, or the public sector.  Labor standards apply in any work experience setting where an employee/employer relationship exists, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

For the Youth program, work experience is similarly defined with the additional requirement that paid and unpaid work experience must include academic and occupational education.  WIOA places a priority on providing youth with occupational learning priorities and requires local areas spend at least 20 percent of their WIOA youth formula allocation on work experience, which may include wages and staffing costs for the development and management of work experience.

Work experience is designed to promote the development of good work habits and basic work skills for individuals who have never worked, have very limited occupational exposure or have been out of the labor force for an extended period of time. Work experience is not designed to replace an existing employee or position and wages are paid directly to the employee and not the Work experience employer.  Labor standards apply in any work experience component where an employee/employer relationship exists, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Work experience activity shall be linked to careers.

WORK EXPERIENCE PROCESS

(a)  Eligibility Requirements

All work experience participants must meet WIOA program eligibility requirements, be enrolled into the respective WIOA program, and have received an assessment resulting in the development of an Individual Employment Plan (IEP) or Individual Service Strategy (ISS) that documents the individual’s need and benefit for the work experience activity.

(b) Employer Eligibility

The Business Services Unit (BSU) is responsible for verifying that all contract requirements have been met and shall approve all work sponsors who are the work experience employers, and also conduct worksite visits before participants begin training.  This must be documented in the VOS system.

(c) Durational and Funding Limits

Participation in the work experience is based on the participant’s need and skill sets.  The duration of the work experience activity should be based on the following factors:

            (i)  Objectives of the work experience;

            (ii) Length of time necessary for the participant to learn the skills identified;

            (iii) Quality and quantity of meaningful work activities;

            (iv) Work experience budget.

The work experience is subject to a maximum funding limit of $4,522 and a durational limit of 480 hours.  Extensions must be requested to, and approved by the Director of the Guam Department of Labor or the designee.  All approved work experience extensions shall be thoroughly documented by the case manager in the VOS system. 

(d) Compensation

Participants enrolled in a paid work experience shall be compensated at an hourly wage not less than Guam’s minimum wage.  Participants shall only be paid for the hours worked during the work experience and documented on the participant’s timesheet.  Work experience participants are not authorized to work overtime, or compensated for vacation time. 

(e)  Career Planning and Counseling

The Guam American Job Center (AJC) case managers shall ensure regular and ongoing contact and oversight of the work experience participants.  Oversight and contact may include onsite visits, telephone and email communication with the employer/trainer and the participant to review the participant’s progress in meeting the training plan objectives. 

WIOA is also designed to help eligible youth meet career and educational goals through Guam’s year round program that provides:

  • An individualized service strategy for each participant that identifies educational and employment goals and objectives with services and support for positive outcomes
  • Opportunities to improve educational and skill competencies, employability, and life skills
  • Postsecondary educational and training opportunities that lead to the attainment of career readiness and credentials for in-demand occupations
  • Effective connections to employers that provide career exploration, job shadowing, work-based learning, work experience, and youth employment opportunities
  • Opportunities related to leadership development such as teamwork, decision-making, community service, and civic and social responsibility
  • Financial literacy education and development of entrepreneurial skills

WIOA seeks to expand youth services to reach more out-of-school youth that meet one or more of the following conditions and are between 16-24 years old who are not attending any school: 

  • A school dropout
  • Within the age of compulsory school attendance but has not attended school for at least the most recent complete school year calendar quarter
  • A recipient of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent who is low income and 1) Basic skills deficient 2) an English language learner
  • An individual who is subject to the juvenile or adult justice system
  • A homeless individual, a runaway, in foster care or aged out of foster care system
  • An individual who is pregnant or parenting
  • An individual with a disability
  • A low-income individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure and hold employment.

 [5] Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth, and others that the State may identify.

The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) JVSG staff provides services to eligible Veterans who may have a Significant Barrier to Employment (SBE) and other needs to perform their roles and responsibilities as JVSG staff.  The DVOP Specialists are located at the American Job Center (AJC) and are fully integrated into the workforce development system with other programs at the AJC to include Wagner-Peyser Employment Services, Title 1 programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and other local employment and training partner programs.

The DVOP Specialists serve as the universal contact point to employment opportunities for eligible transitioning service members, veterans, eligible spouses, through a consortium of partner program resources that are co-located within the AJC.

Guam’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists function within the AJC, serving as a catalyst for assisting eligible veterans and eligible spouses who have significant barriers to employment and are most in need of individualized career services to become gainfully employed.

Intensive Veterans services provided by the DVOPs are: 

  • Assessment 
  • Career guidance 
  • DVOP IEP 
  • DVOP interview prep 
  • DVOP résumé prep
  • Referred to WIOA services 
  • Referred to WIOA services manual 
  • Referred to other services • Workshop—Career & Skills Assessment 
  • Workshop—Career Advancement and Enhancement 
  • Workshop—Educational and Personal Skills Upgrade and 
  • Veterans Workshops

Priority of Service to Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE)

GDOL has implemented strategies with different partner organizations such as the Guam Probation Office, the Guam Department of Corrections, the Guam Homeless Coalition, Guam Veterans Clinic, and the Guam Office of Veterans Affairs including other non-profit organizations. The strategy is to optimize employment outcomes for these targeted veterans.

Guam has a Virtual One Stop (VOS) system, hireguam.com, that allows all AJC services to be online and automated. As a result Guam has seen a huge influx of employers who want to tap into this system. The VOS provides greater employment opportunities to veterans because those Veterans with SBEs have first priority when it comes to new job postings on the VOS. 

There is a tremendous amount of Veterans on Guam who have served in the armed forces and who are not necessarily looking for a job, considering they’re either semi-retired or retired and just want to be recognized for the services they gave their country, the U.S.  They basically fulfill requirements for Veteran-related services available on island such as services from WestCare, a service provider or other healthcare service providers so that they receive the benefits from having served in the military.

The Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists directly assist veterans and eligible individuals who have significant barriers to employment (SBEs), as outlined in 38 U.S.C. 4103A(a).  The DVOP Specialists at the Guam American Job Center (AJC) provide services called individualized career services which include, but are not limited to:

  • Comprehensive and specialized assessments (diagnostic testing, assessment tools, in-depth interviewing and evaluation to identify employment barriers and appropriate employment goals)
  • Development of an Individual Employment Plan (IEP)
  • Career Planning and Case Management
  • Group and/or Individual counseling and mentoring
  • Labor Market Information (LMI)
  • Basic staff-assisted career services

                                                                                                                                               

The DVOP Specialists will ensure that Veterans with significant barriers to employment (SBEs) are getting the assistance they need with finding jobs.  Guam provides services to eligible veterans to help them achieve their employment goals by engaging with veterans and marketing the JVSG program.

Purpose

The Department  of Veterans Affairs,Vocation Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Service, the Department of Labor,Veterans Veteran's Emplovment & Tralnlng  Service,and the Guam Department of Labor mutually asree that the successfullntesratlon of disabled veterans Into the civilian workforce Is a mutual concern and responsibility. Set forth Is a Standard Operatlns Procedure (SOP) on how VR&E clients will be referred to the State  Asency  (SA) to receive Employment Assistance (EA).

Referral for Employment Assistance

  • VA counselors will make EA referrals to the SA through the Intensive Service Coordinator (ISC) via email using the attached referralletter with a requested completion date and attach the veteran's  Job ready assessment worksheet,resume,IWRP and/or lEAP,and medicalrelease for Information.
  • The ISC will assign a OVOP to provide service to the veteran.
  • The OVOPs will call and send an Initialemail to the participant within 3 days to set up an appointment for services. If the call and email are unanswered after 7 days, the OVOP will send a letter via email and USPS Informing the participant that their case will be closed If they do not contact the OVOP within 7 days. A copy of this letter will be emalled to the ISC and the VA counselor for their records/action.
  • If the participant Is a no-show for a scheduled appointment the OVOP will calland send an email (wtth email cc to:VRC and ISC) advising the participant that If they do not respond within 7 days their case will be closed and that their counselor will be notified.
  • If a participant notifies the OVOP they can't meet because they are working, the DVOP will collect the employment Information from the participant and Immediately notify the VA counselor and ISC. The VA counselor will contact the participant and determine If the employment Is suitable and let the DVOP know.  
  • If It Is, the DVOP willfollow up within one week of placement,then at 30 days,and asaln at 60 days.The results of the follow-up contacts with the participant will be documented and communicated to the VR&E staff.
  • If the VA determines  the employment Is not suitable employment, the DVOP will send an email to the participant Informing them that their employment Is not suitable and they are required to meet with the OVOP within 7 days for employment services. If they do not comply, follow the procedures below.
  • Anytime the veteran is not complying with the program,the DVOP willsend an email to the veteran. If the email Is unanswered after 7 days the OVOP will send a letter via USPS Informing the participant that their case will be closed If they do not contact the DVOP within 7 days.A copy of this letter will be emalled to the ISC and the VA counselor for their records/action.
  • Should there be a valid reason to continue the partlc:lpant, the VA counselor will let the ISC and  OVOP know to keep the case open.
  • If a referral Is closed because the veteran Is unresponsive,a new referralcan be requested at a future date when the veteran Is ready  to participate.
  • DVOPS will maintain at least bi-weekly contact with veterans seeklna employment. The contacts will provide job referrals;determine status of applications and Interviews to assist the veteran In finding employment. case notes will be maintained In the SA Information system.
  • Once a veteran Is employed,the DVOPs will provide employment Information to the VA counselor and ISC. The VA will let the ISC and DVOP know  If the employment Is suitable. A Chapter 31Veteran who has entered and maintained suitable employment for at least 60 days Is considered Rehabllltated. Follow-up contact should be made by the asstaned DVOP and/or  AJC staff within one week of placement, then at 30 days,and asaln at 60 days.The results of the follow-up contacts with the participant will be documented and communicated to the VR&E staff.