The Guam Contractors Association met on Wednesday to discuss local projects and to celebrate Careers in Construction Month.
Guest speaker Simon Sanchez, Consolidated Utilities Commission member, discussed the Guam Power Authority's soon-to-be-underway $600 million power plant. The power plant has drawn some criticism from some local residents who want GPA to explore more eco-friendly methods of meeting the community's power needs. Additionally, concerns have been raised regarding the company expected to operate the new power plant, Korea East-West Power, which oversaw the Cabras 3 and 4 power plant prior to its explosion. KEWP is in a consortium with KEPCO.
Sanchez has said that he voted to approve the contract because he believes it will lower power bills while providing reliable power generation. Sanchez has noted advantages to the proposed plant, including its ability to facilitate more renewable energy by assisting with power fluctuations that come with intermittent solar power generation.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero was the keynote speaker at the meeting. While there, she also signed a proclamation, naming October as Guam's Careers in Construction Month. The proclamation acknowledges the need to prepare the island and its residents for future growth and the role of the local construction industry in the improvement of critical infrastructure and the development of modern facilities.
"I urge the people of Guam to recognize the importance of our construction industry and its role in the development and progress of our island," the governor stated as she read the proclamation.
The governor also thanked GCA, GCA Trades Academy, and Guam Community College for providing and supporting much-needed training and apprenticeship programs that provide our local people with knowledge and opportunities to become part of the construction workforce, adding that her administration remains committed to supporting the GCA and all of its affiliates in the advancement of the local construction industry.
GCA, for many years, has been working with member companies, the GCC and the Guam Department of Labor to build the island's local labor pool. GCA also created the GCA Trades Academy, which provides education in skilled trades. The academy has hosted a number of workshops to encourage a new generation of workers, including Pizza, Pop & Power Tools event for middle and high school girls.
The GCA, the GCA Trades Academy, and the National Association of Women in Construction Guam Chapter will be holding various activities to educate the community on the local employment and training opportunities available to them. Activities include:
Oct. 13: GCA Family Day Picnic
Nov. 12 & 13: Registered Apprenticeship Forum
Nov. 16: GCA Construction Warriors Exploratory Event
Nov. 16: GCA Excellence in Construction and GCA Contractor of the Year Awards
The GCA Construction Warriors is an interactive career exploratory event that offers an educational opportunity for middle and high school students to learn about the various construction trades, understand safety requirements and get hands-on experience working with some of the tools and equipment of the trades under the supervision and guidance of a local craft professional.