DOC inmates learn construction skillsetsWritten by Donna De Jesus
Guam - GCA Trades Academy Education Director Bert Johnston led a press conference at the classroom where the training takes place within the Department of Corrections compound.
The pilot program that was developed started with 10 inmate students — 2 have already been released and 5 have completed the program. Guam Department of Labor Director, Sam Mabini, says the case managers and the DOL assist with job placement and follow ups. "Our goal is to get them employed. That is the end goal. But even after they’re employed, we still continue following up — checking on them 3 months, 6 months, even up to a year — checking on where they’re at, are they still employed, do they need additional assistance, or what not," Mabini said.
Students and instructors of the program shared their thoughts on how the program can continue to benefit not just the prisoners, but the community as well.
Daniel Sanchez is a training program student, and said "I believe that this program would play a big part in reintegrating back into society, and I really think it’ll open doors of opportunity for future students who attend this program."
The instructors are also hopeful about the program. One instructor, Frank Blas, shared "I felt proud to be part of the group that was teaching because it gives everybody a second chance."
Johnston says the individuals who complete the classes are NCCER-certified. Those who are released before completing the program at DOC continue their education at the GCA Trades Academy.