200+ GUARDSMEN STILL UNEMPLOYED
(September 18, 2014 – Hagåtña) As employment remains unrealized for hundreds of Guam Army National guard soldiers eight months after returning from their Afghanistan deployment, Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz has called on Adelup to prioritize the hiring of guardsmen in the filling of 165 vacancies funded by the FY 2015 budget act.
The legislature had presented Resolution No. 445-32 (COR) last Monday commending the volunteers of the Guam-CNMI Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). “While recognition of these efforts is a meaningful gesture, it must be matched with good works,” said Cruz in a letter to Governor Eddie B. Calvo sent earlier today.
In the letter Cruz noted that he has been informed that over a third of the 600-plus 1-294th Infantry Regiment soldiers who began returning from their deployment early in January, still struggle with finding jobs. “Surely those who guarded enemy combatants and protected civilians from the wrath of war can aid in first response or law enforcement here at home,” said Cruz.“Surely we can agree that those who fought under our flag should not return home only to struggle for a job.”
“Given your public avowal of your commitment to the men and women of the Guam National Guard, I respectfully ask that you prioritize these returning guardsmen when filling the new vacancies funded by the FY15 budget law,” said Cruz, in reference to the $9-million in funded vacancies provided by the FY 2015 budget act. Of the nearly 165 positions available within the executive branch, approximately 105 are dedicated to law enforcement agencies, and another 60 are for vacancies the governor deemed necessary to the operation of various executive branch agencies.
Cruz also lamented that the dire situation in which these guardsmen have found themselves is further exacerbated by unfamiliarity with the public workforce system and lack of advisement regarding eligibility for limited-term appointments (LTA).
“To that end, I propose that the executive branch and ESGR hold a job fair for guardsmen who have recently returned from deployments,” said Cruz. “Aside from informing attendants of all unfilled government jobs, the job fair would allow the Department of Administration (DOA) to guide guardsmen through the merit system, the proper application of preference points, and the selection criteria by which candidates are evaluated.”
Cruz added that agency managers could also be on site to interview applicants who meet the qualifications required by vacant authorized LTA positions.
The FY 2015 budget act (P.L. 32-181) appropriated $6,140,483 for funded vacancies within the Guam Police Department ($1,913,203), Department of Corrections ($2,920,729), Department of Youth Affairs ($395,813), and the Guam Fire Department ($910,738). Another appropriation of $3,077,971 has been set aside for vacancies within the Bureau of Business and Management Research, DOA, Department of Revenue and Taxation, Department of Labor, Department of Agriculture, Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, and/or Department of Parks and Recreation.
The referenced documents are attached. For more information, call the Office of the Vice Speaker at 477-2520 or 687-7567.
PR Prioritize Hiring Guardsmen 09182014