Nurturing a strong relationship with employer sponsors and the State Apprenticeship Agency is key to a successful Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Guam Community College (GCC) is very fortunate to have a longstanding collaboration with our registered apprenticeship employer sponsor partners, the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL), and Guam’s State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). As a related technical instruction (RTI) provider, GCC works closely to develop RTIs for new occupations and to update existing RTIs as changes to our curriculum occur.
With the initial launch last year, GCC has been quite successful with the Ship Repair Transportation Boot Camps, a collaboration with the Guam Community College and Cabras Marine Corporation (a registered apprenticeship employer sponsor) as well as the Guam Department of Labor. Participants who attended both boot camps and successfully completed the training were hired by Cabras Marine Corporation and segued into their Registered Apprenticeship Program.
The boot camps are 12-week job training cycles to develop Guam’s workforce in the ship repair industry. The target populations are high school graduates, GED and high school equivalent programs, the unemployed, underemployed and non-traditional students. The boot camps are funded through grants secured by Guam Community College. Cabras Marine Corporation is committed to hiring all successful boot camp completers at the onset of the program and they participate in the selection of the cohort and monitored their progress throughout the training cycle.
Another RA program is the establishment of the first-ever Paramedic Initiative and Training Program. This program is a collaboration between Guam Community College, Guam Fire Department (GFD), Guam Department of Labor, along with GCC’s partnership with the School of EMS (SOEMS) from Tyler, Texas. GFD recently registered as a registered apprenticeship employer sponsor, and the establishment of the Paramedic Program is part of GCC’s expansion of a registered apprenticeship program the department of Allied Health.
The Guam Paramedic Initiative and Training Program launched with 36 registered apprentices participating. It is a hybrid RA program model which includes both distance learning and three weeks of face-to-face training in Guam facilitated by the SOEMS. Participants who successfully complete the program will qualify to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (NREMT-P) exam, and upon passing become state-certified paramedics. Additionally, completers will earn RA Journeyworker status and become eligible as potential instructors for future paramedic training programs.
The Guam Paramedic Initiative and Training Program has been in discussion for many years. Our approach was one of seeking experienced instructors that could bring the training to our students, to avoid the traditional practice of sending students off-island. The Guam Fire Department has always seen a need to get their first responders skilled in the more advanced NREMT-P certified paramedic level and referred the School of EMS to GCC. GCC began its research, and after many virtual meetings with the SOEMS and the GFD, as well as in-person meetings with the GFD and the GDOL (SAA), we were finally able to get the program off the ground.
GCC’s commitment to bringing sustainable programs and training to support the local and regional workforce is evident in our boot camps, the Paramedic Initiative, as well as other workforce development programs. This promise is aligned with the colleges goal to advance our workforce development and training programs. Expanding our partnerships and regularly updating our curriculum offerings and certifications is of paramount importance to meeting the training needs of our current and future workforce.