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Back Local News GCC not getting full MDF funding for apprenticeship program

GCC not getting full MDF funding for apprenticeship program

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THE Guam Community College yesterday confirmed only $324,000 has been received so far out of the $1.435 million current fiscal year funding allocated from the Manpower Development Fund (MDF) for GCC’s apprenticeship program.

GCC President Mary Okada made the confirmation during the public hearing for Bill 84 yesterday. As pointed out in the bill, GCC had not been receiving its full appropriation from the MDF for the past several years.

“Under the current law, the college receives 70 percent of the collected revenues. Although this funding mechanism has been in place for quite some time, collections have not been coming in as anticipated,” Okada testified.

Sens. Ben Pangelinan and Tina Muña-Barnes introduced Bill 84, a measure seeking to allocate around $2 million from unappropriated revenues collected from the Tourist Attraction Fund (TAF) to support GCC’s fiscal year 2013 apprenticeship program.

The appropriation will also be available for GCC to fund the operations of other programs as approved by the board of trustees and administration of the college after meeting all apprenticeship program obligations and requirements.

For FY2013, TAF funds are expected to earn revenues of around $25 million. Approximately $23 million of this is already appropriated.

The Office of Public Accountability reported recently that GCC has not yet received any of its Manpower Development Fund appropriations.

Moreover, OPA reported there were unexpected allotment shortages made to the MDF that directly correlates to the number of H-2 workers on Guam. Due to the decline in the construction industry and the delay of the military buildup, the actual collections from MDF were just 41 percent or $695,000 less than the amount appropriated.

In total, GCC saw an overall appropriation decrease of 2 percent from the general fund and 60 percent from MDF, the OPA said. This shortfall has resulted in cuts to funding contractual services, supplies, and other operational costs to the college.

Increase

In her testimony, Okada said: “In order to continue our mission to provide our people with training and education, they need to be successful, productive members of society and GCC needs your support. The passage of this bill helps us all achieve this goal.”

For the past several years, Okada said the community college has been increasing its number of apprentices, adding the program currently has 443 apprentices in comparison to 2006, where they only had 98 apprentices.

The college, she added, has worked aggressively to get the local workforce trained in many different areas – from diesel mechanics, to air-conditioning maintenance and repairs, and to police officer training, among others.

Meanwhile, Pangelinan said Bill 84 would provide additional resources to the GCC apprenticeship program to meet some shortfalls in funding based upon estimates that were developed by the administration and adopted by the Legislature with regard to the MDF.

“When we looked at the adopted revenues versus the actual collection of the revenues, we knew there was a significant shortfall.”

He said they looked at revenue sources that will be able to support the work of the community college. Through research and analysis, they found out there are unappropriated funds available via the TAF.

“We thought that the TAF would be an appropriate revenue stream to assist the college in its mission and efforts since a lot of the training it does and the program it implements help support the tourism industry,” Pangelinan said.

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