Guam Community College

What can colleges in the mainland U.S. learn from a small island college in a remote part of Micronesia? A lot! We traveled to the U.S. territory of Guam to understand how they use ingenuity to meet the workforce needs of this unique island. Guam Community College (GCC) is a small but mighty college with impressive industry partnerships that create opportunities for its students to apply what they’ve learned and transform their lives.

What made this trip so special—aside from the 18-hour trip—was the employer partners’ sheer enthusiasm as they welcomed us into their space and shared praise for their Guam Community College partnerships. We spent the afternoon with GCC alumna Mo Amani, who runs a highly successful restaurant. We saw her using her education to grow her dream while also employing current students. We met with former students in an incredible diversity of fields, including construction, nursing, human services, culinary arts, IT, and even maritime trades. Each of these vocations is vital to this island community.

Guam also serves as a defense hub. The U.S. military presence is deeply embedded in the community, and military service remains a strong workforce pathway for island residents. While community colleges embrace both a transfer and workforce mission, GCC is working to ensure its students can build it, treat it, make it, create it, fix it, protect it, transform it, and share it—whatever “it” is.

To understand the college is to understand the economy. Guam’s economy is driven by its sandy beaches, incredible rainforests, and rich culture. Tourists come from all over the world to experience what Guam has to offer. But it’s not just the beautiful landscapes that make Guam so special—visit GCC’s culinary arts department, and you’ll find students expertly crafting dishes and perfecting skills to entice travelers to stay a little longer and treat themselves at one of the many resort hotels. They’re creating food, memories, treasured vacations, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and stories to be shared for many years to come.

Guam is a global classroom. It’s a history lesson in the world wars of the past, a cultural lesson in the Chamorro heritage from a people who have inhabited the island for more than 4,000 years, and an economic development lesson in tourism.

Introduce yourself to new friends as you travel throughout the island and learn that they, too, attended Guam Community College at one point. In fact, what makes the school so unique is that they embrace their responsibility to keep talent in the local economy and create generational opportunity that allows both soldiers far from home and neighbors to live, work, and learn in one very special place.

It just takes one visit to Guam to see that they are in the future by time zone and by vision.

For more information on Guam Community College visit: https://guamcc.edu/

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