Cabras apprentices complete boot camp 1

MOTIVATION: Jimmy D. Smith, director of the Office of Small Business Programs with the U.S. Navy, shared words of encouragement with the new graduates of the Cabras Marine Corp. boot camp during a ceremony held Wednesday at the CMC Training Facility in Piti. Jonah Benavente/The Guam Daily Post

Nineteen men will immediately begin working for Cabras Marine Corp. after completing a ship repair boot camp.

Cabras Marine continued their coordinating efforts with the Guam Community College in ensuring Guam's developing local talent for the growing workforce when 19 men received certificates for completing a 12-week ship repair boot camp on Wednesday morning.

"As of this past Monday, we are officially employed and working with Cabras Marine," said 18-year-old Art Aquinde who completed the fifth installment of the boot camp.

After the ceremony, which was held at Cabras' new training facility, president Joseph Cruz said the boot camp is essential to meeting the need for a more skilled workforce.

"We need to be able to have the people to execute, so our focus is developing local workforce primarily so that we can continue to support the growth we anticipate," said Cruz who indicated the sixth installment of the boot camp is in the works.

Cruz added that of the boot camps held over the past three years, 100 have graduated and 80 are still working for Cabras.

"As long as we show our capability, I think we're going to continue to see more work but we need to be able to have a good workforce now to demonstrate that we can have more work," added Cruz.

'I can see the promise'

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Jimmy D. Smith, the director of the Office of Small Business Programs with the U.S. Navy, who made his first trip to Guam to address the importance of the local apprentices completing the boot camp.

"DOD is coming and if you're not going to do it here on island, don't make me bring it in from the outside. We don't want to do that. (It's) more effective to be done here. To be a part of this part boot camp ceremony that you're executing today, I can see the promise," Smith said.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero addressed the graduates as well and expressed her excitement for them meeting the need of more workers on the island.

"I think this kind of program with the partnership of Cabras, GCC and also the government and the military is just the right ingredients for success and for improving our workforce job creation for people (and) to lift the lives of our people and our livelihood," Leon Guerrero said before saying how proud she was of the graduates.

"I feel so very satisfied that we've taken care of our people," she added.

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