Chugach Alaska Corp. is looking to help Guam develop its labor force by creating a job corps center similar to those found on the mainland U.S.
Terry Crummet project manager for Chugach Industries Inc. said he served in the Air Force and was stationed on Guam for two years until June 2005. While on a November return visit to Guam Crummet met with government of Guam Department of Labor officials. He said he plans to work on the possibility of operating a job corps center on the island.
"We don’t make any money off of this. It’s just one of our community responsibility actions. We don’t get rich at it " Crummet said. "If I glean from what I have heard from interviewing other people on the island there is going to be potentially a need for 15 000 skilled laborers "¦ so if this can be successful coupled with the [Guam] Shipyard and its apprenticeship program then perhaps maybe many of those 15 000 [jobs] can be accommodated by island employees "" Guam residents " he said.
However Crummet warns that wages must be equal to locations on the U.S. mainland to keep the skilled labor on Guam.
"My opinion is the government has got to adopt a wage determination that is going to be appropriate for the training " he said.
Scott Reed project manager for Guam Chugach Support Services said "Everyone we talked to agrees that there is actually a need for something like this but then on the other hand I will reiterate what Terry said once you get them trained and they come out with a certification of their skilled ability there is a good possibility they will leave."
Reed said he recalls the construction boom of the 1980s and the difficulty in finding skilled laborers at that time. "They were paid $16 to $18-an-hour in the mid-80s and I worked with these same people in 2002 and their wages went down to $13-an-hour " he said.
Chugach is a tribal-owned Alaska native corporation. About 2 000 shareholders own Chugach. Congress created a system of corporate ownership of assets as a departure from the creation of reservations for native Alaskans through the Alaska Natives Claims Act in 1971.
Crummet said under the Chugach umbrella are Chugach Development Corp. Chugach Systems Integration LLC Chugach Support Services Inc. Chugach Industries Inc. 8(a) Chugach Management Services Inc. Chugach Telecommunications & Computers Inc. Chugach McKinley Inc. and Chugach Government Services Inc. 8(a).
According to Crummet the core business lines Chugach offers are construction management base operations support employment services Information Technology environmental management and education and training.
Chugach has ongoing projects with the Navy on Guam.
The education and training segment of Chugach’s services includes job corps centers and environmental training.
Chugach manages four job corps centers in four states for the U.S. Department of Labor to include Alaska California New York and New Mexico. MBJ