GCA Construction News Bulletin June 2019

Page 1

• Better tools save time; they don’t make you a better craftsman! • Write measurements down • Measure twice Cut once












Single Window Covered Entry





32nd Annual G C A

G o l f

scholarship fundraiser


EMCE•Consulting Engineers

HOLE-IN-ONE SPONSORS HOLE SPONSORS Aptim AmOrient Bank Pacific Barrett Plumbing CalPac Construction & Power Source EA Engineering

Fence Masters Frontier Supply Granite-Obayahi A JV Hawthorne Pacific IT&E IP&E Parsons Personal Finance Center

Smith Bridge Triple B Tristar Tsang Brothers US Navy League First Hawaiian Bank AON's Insurance

SPECIAL THANKS TO Triple J 5 Star Fastenal Ambros Foremost Aproved/Dewitt Payless SOG America's Best Electric

Sheraton Guam PHR Ken Micronesia, Inc. America's Best Electric Baldayga Group Benson Hansen Cement IP&E McDonalds Guam

Infusion coffee and tea City Hill GPO SE Construction Buddy's Rental Island Certs ERC Trading Inc Red Door Productions



Contact your Hawthorne Cat Sales Representative for complete offer details. Guam | 671.649.4228 Hawaii | 808.676.0218 San Diego | 858.674.7107

*Financing offers valid from June 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019. 0% for 60 months finance rate available only on the following new machines manufactured by Caterpillar Inc.: Cat mini excavators, compact track loaders, multi terrain loaders, skid steer loaders and compact wheel loaders (903-908 models only). 0% for 36 months, plus a 3-year or 3,000 hour Powertrain & Hydraulics Equipment Protection Plan only on the following new machines manufactured by Caterpillar Inc.: Cat compact wheel loaders (910-914 models), backhoe loaders, small dozers, small wheel loaders and telehandlers. To be eligible for an Equipment Protection Plan offer (where applicable), the machine must be financed with Cat Financial. Financing and published rate terms are subject to credit approval through Cat Financial for customers who qualify. Buyers are not guaranteed to qualify. Higher rates may apply for buyers with lower credit rating or qualifications. Offer available only at Hawthorne Cat. Flexible payment terms available to those who qualify. Offer is available to customers in the USA and cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer subject to machine availability. Offer may change without prior notice and additional terms and conditions may apply. Contact Hawthorne Cat for details. **The 2-year standard warranty (2,000 hours or 24 months, whichever occurs first) applies only to new Cat mini excavators, compact track loaders, multi terrain loaders and skid steer loaders. © 2019 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, LET’S DO THE WORK, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow,” the “Power Edge” and Cat “Modern Hex” trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.








S.A.M.E. update


Military news


Small business notes










20 GCA Calendar






Fiesta Resort

Board of Directors Meeting


July 3, 2019

Independence Day


July 4, 2019


July 12, 2019


GCA Conf. Room


July 17, 2019



Liberation Day


July 22, 2019


GCA Conf. Room

Activities Committee Meeting


July 26, 2019

Small Business Committee Meeting


July 30, 2019

Activities Committee Meeting Membership Luncheon

2 |

feature story



Office Closed

Office Closed 11:30

GCA Conf. Room Like Us On Facebook

Building solid foundations through innovative solutions. At Hawaiian Rock Products, we are always ready to meet your construction needs. In Guam, we have a fleet of over 200 construction vehicles and a workforce of over 200 employees. We operate state-of-the-art facilities, strategically located throughout the island, with the capacity to fulfill any project size requirements. As seen in the Emerald Oceanview Park project, Hawaiian Rock Products’ commitment to safety and efficiency ensures that every job attests to its strength in service and personnel. We poured 5,000+ cubic yards of concrete in 10 hours – a record breaking achievement on Guam – made possible with our: • 4 strategically located concrete batch plants • 6 concrete pumps • 45+ concrete mixer trucks

• Laboratory Testing Technicians • Standby Mechanics • Safety Officers and Supervisors

Our vast fleet of equipment continues to expand along with the growing needs of the industry. We are here to provide you with the quality products and services you need, when you need them.

2008 Business Laureate

Building The Marianas Since 1958 1402 Route 15, Mangilao, Guam 96913 Tel: (671) 734-2971/8 • Fax: (671) 734-0990 www.hawaiianrock.com AMERICAN CONCRETE PUMPING ASSOCIATION The Source for Concrete Pumping Professionals






PRESIDENT James Martinez Guam Contractors’ Association

Guam Contractor’s Association (GCA) in conjunction with Adztech and Public Relations, Inc. publishes the Construction News Bulletin (CNB) monthly. Reproduction of materials appearing in this publication is strictly forbidden without written permission by GCA.

PUBLISHER: James Martinez

CHAIRMAN Jessica Barrett Barrett Plumbing VICE CHAIRMAN Peter Errett Hawaiian Rock Products

While we always strive for accuracy, we will from time to time overlook mistakes. In order to help us improve the quality and accuracy of this publication, we ask that you take the time to look at the information provided and notify GCA or Adztech of any corrections as needed. Opinions and editorial content of this publication may not necessarily be those of the publisher, production team, staff, GCA members, GCA Board of Directors and advertisers.

SECRETARY/TREASURER Bill Beery Tutujan Hill Group PAST CHAIRMAN Mark Mamczarz Black Construction CONTRACTOR DIRECTORS: Zenon Belanger ARS Aleut Remediation

For more information about advertising in the GCA Construction News Bulletin contact the advertising department at (671) 477-1239/2239 or email at adztech@teleguam.net.

Harold Cullick Dylan Mechanical Mary Grace Jacot SET Pacific

Distributed to GCA members or can be obtained by stopping by the Guam Contractors’ Association office located at 718 N. Marine Corps Drive, Suite 203, East West Business Center, Upper Tumon, Guam.

Kevin Kruger Granite Construction Shoja Rezvani Contrack Watts Contractors

To find out more about how you can become a GCA member contact Guam Contractors’ Association at Tel: (671) 647-4840/41 Fax: (671) 647-4866 or Email: gca@teleguam.net. www.guamcontractors.org

ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS: Bill Bernardo First Hawaiian Bank Mark Cruz MidPac Far East Patty Lizama Pacific Isla Life

Postmaster. Send address changes to Guam Contractors’ Association, located at 718 N. Marine Corps Drive Suite 203, East West Business Center, Upper Tumon, Guam.

Camilo Lorenzo Matson Navigation

PRODUCTION TEAM LEAD: Geri Leon Guerrero AD SALES: Jaceth Duenas PRODUCTION: Christopher “Taco” Rowland Jason Davis Jaceth Duenas PHOTOGRAPHERS: Leila Uong Christopher “Taco” Rowland Jaceth Duenas EDITOR: Adztech CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Pete Diaz Albert Sampson R.D. Gibson GCA STAFF: Desiree Lizama Elaine Gogue Ann Marie Pelobello COVER: Blueprints for the Future Drawing on the wealth of experience and knowledge of our past to teach our future employees.




TRADES ACADEMY B u i l d i n g

S k i l l s

F o r


L i f e t i m e

Guam Contractors Association

4 | JUNE2019


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President’s Letter

Hafa Adai GCA Members! The month of May was a busy for month for GCA and its members, as we held our 32nd Annual Golf Tournament and 24th Annual GCA Safety Conference nearly back-to-back. I would like to first thank all our sponsors and supporters of both events and especially our members who participated as players in the golf tournament or participants in the safety conference. Kudos to the hardworking individuals of the Safety Committee and Activities Committee, who without their help, these events could not be as successful as they were. As we move toward our 60th Anniversary date later in the year (November 5, 2019) I am excited to announce a new marketing and public relations program called C.O.R.E (Contacts, Opportunities, Resources, Education). The Guam Contractors Association C.O.R.E. Sponsorship Program is a convenient, value-added, marketing, events and training package that allows member companies to increase their exposure in the association while saving money and making sponsorship decisions once for the entire year. The program features “FLEX spending credits” and a wide range of sponsorship levels for every company’s size, giving the freedom to meet individual needs and participation goals. This program was replicated from a program by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Keystone Chapter in Harrisburg, PA. and has proven to be a successful business model and marketing tool for their members. The program allows our members to participate and sponsor GCA events at different levels of sponsorship. Instead of soliciting sponsorship all year for individual events, we are only soliciting once a year for the entire year of GCA events. We have launched this program earlier this month to member companies who have supported and sponsored GCA events every year. With the C.O.R.E program, GCA members can sponsor events for the entire year for one price. There are also different levels of sponsorships that are affordable and can fit any budget. Being a C.O.R.E Sponsor offers benefits like recognition at monthly events, including company name or logo on traveling event banners and table signs, sponsorship of all major GCA signature events, C.O.R.E. recognition on event name badges and monthly luncheon meetings, banner ads in the monthly GCA Construction News Bulletin (CNB), GCA Annual Directory, GCA website and on our social media page on Facebook. This is the perfect resource to reach your customers. Another event in May that I had the privilege to attend was a Career Day/Job Fair that was hosted by Black Construction Corp. Students from our local high schools were invited to attend this event as a Career Day activity. They were able to tour Black Construction’s compound in the Harmon Industrial Park and students got a chance to interact with some of the employees and get some hands-on experience in the shop area. Be sure to read the write-up of this event by RD Gibson in this month’s issue pf the CNB. I think the Black Construction has again set the example of reaching out to our local high school students and giving them the opportunity to explore careers in construction and give them a taste of what it’s like to work for their organization. Kudos to Mr. Leonard Kaae and his team at Black for putting on a great event and for showcasing the industry. I’m almost certain others will follow their lead!

Sincerely, James A. Martinez President Guam Contractors Association

6 |



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Do you have a large clearing and grubbing project or just need your site cleared? - We can clear and grub your land and we can save you money by providing on-site shredding and grinding services to avoid the high cost of hauling out and tipping the cleared material from your land. We will spread the green waste and wood mulch on your newly cleared land to help prevent the growth of weeds and reduce maintenance costs. - For large commercial jobs, our German engineered and industry leading Doppstadt equipment has the production capacity to speed up your project timeline. Equipped with a 3060K slow speed primary shredder and a high speed AK530 grinder, we have the equipment to get the job done.

Do you need to screen material to a certain Spec? - Our 720K Trommel Screen can produce 3/8”, ¾”, 1 ¼” and 2” product as fast as we can load it. The DZH Grinder: The simple horizontal tracked choice for your difficult jobs. - 755 horsepower. Production capacity of up to 120 Tons per hour. 2” and 4” screens to meet your finished product requirements.

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Society of


American Military Engineers




20 JUN 2019

SAME Guam Post General Membership Meeting Hilton Resort, Tumon

15 JUL 2019

SAME Guam Post STEM Camp University of Guam, Mangilao

25 JUL 2019

SAME Guam Post General Membership Meeting Hilton Resort, Tumon

08-09 AUG 2019

2019 Guam Industry Day Hyatt, Tumon

04-06 AUG 2019

2019 Post Leaders Workshop Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Bonita Springs, Florida

20-22 NOV 2019

Small Business Conference

Upcoming June Meeting Officer Brief

Presented by: CDR Chris Almond or ENS Ken Wheeler

Sustaining Member Brief Presented by: Planate

20 JUN 2019 SAME Guam Post 8 | JUNE2019

or www.guamcontractors.org

log on to www.same.org/Guam Like Us On Facebook





Scholarship is funded through the SAME Guam Post’s annual Charlie Corn Golf Tournament

Offered to: Current high school seniors or university students

– –

Charlie Corn Scholarship Award Presenta on: (Le to Right) Pete Diaz, Isako Ortega (for Kai Ortega), Brian Barcinas, Chris ana Mar nez, Mei Su (for Yvan Chu), Juan Rapadas (for Noah Rapadas), Troy Santos, Tor Gudmundsen, and Maegan Catahay.

Name of Recipient


Chu, Yvan F. Gozum, Chelcy Q. Martinez, Christiana G. Dizon, Darlene Marie N. Santos, Troy Laren T. Yarofalyango, Francis X. Francisco, Angeline P. Rapadas, Noah C. Ortega, Kai Andre N. Catahay, Maegan Gabrielle Barcinas, Brian C. Yilon, Joshua C.



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

$4,000 $3,500 $3,500 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $2,500 $2,500 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000



Tor Gudmundsen, PE SAME Guam Post Scholarship Commi ee Chair

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Students pursuing or planning to pursue a fulltime degree in an engineering or architectural program

Residents of the Marianas and Micronesian Islands

Individual awards range from $2,000 to $4,000

This year is a total of 12 awards totaling $33,000 was made.

Over the last 10 years, the SAME Guam Post has awarded 90 scholarships totaling $240,000


Year of Award

No. of Recipients

Total Award































10 years


$240,000 JUNE2019 | 9





Marine Technology (MATE) Underwater Robotics Competition

– – –

10 | JUNE2019


The scout class is for middle school students and high school students that are new to robotics. The navigator class is for high school students that have experience with robotics.

SAME Young Members served as judges during the 2019 Guam competition.


Teams by construct underwater robotic vehicles and prepare the engineering and communication components (technical reports, engineering presentations, and poster displays).

Volunteer Judges

04 MAY 2019

Two competition classes:

Organized by the Guam Department of Education

SAME Guam Post will be donating $2,500 towards the team’s travel expenses to the Aquarobotics Competition in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Six students will be attending, along with 1 coach and 1 other adult chaperone.

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3,000 ea.




call Mylene at 473-5000 for more information.


Delivery available via side lifter. Inquire about pricing.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Trucks - Box Truck, Reefer & Flatbed Trucks - Tractors & Dump Trucks Water Trucks and Trailers Forklifts - Gas/LPG/Diesel Rough Terrain Forklifts, Telehandlers Generators 20 KW - 500 KW Load Banks - 750 KW Air Compressors 180-900 CFM Wheel Loaders & Skid Steer Loaders Excavators - Mini to 32 ton Backhoes - 4WD 4 in 1 Bkts Scissor Lifts, Boom Lifts Double/Single Drum Rollers 3-10 ton Low Boy Tractor/Trailer 35-55 ton

197 Ypao Road, Tamuning, Guam 96913 Tel: (671) 649-1946 • Fax: (671) 649-1947 www.morricoequipment.com



SMALL BIZ NOTES NAVFAC Marianas awarded about $133.3M in contracts from October 2018 through May 2019 on which Small Business (SB) concerns may participate as prime or subcontractors. Of that amount, $74.9M was awarded to SB concerns to provide a variety of products and services on Guam. Socio-economic breakdown of the SB awards are: - $61.8M - Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) - $54.1M - HUBZone Small Business (HZSB) - $ 4.2M - Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) - $ 7.0M - Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) The sum of the figures above exceed the overall SB awards of $74.9M because some SB concerns qualify for multiple socio-economic categories; for e.g. SDVOSB, HZ, and SDB Significant SB awards in May:

• Wolf Creek •Federal Wolf Creek Services, Federal Inc.Services, was awarded Inc. was about awarded $7M toabout • Philip $7MHwang to • Philip dba CH Hwang Equipment dba CHRental Equipment & Construction Rental & Construction provide housing provide operations housing and operations maintenance and maintenance services services was awarded was about awarded $875K about for demolition $875K for of demolition various of various through 30Sep2019 throughat30Sep2019 Naval BaseatGuam Navaland Base Andersen Guam and AFB. Andersen facilities AFB.on Naval facilities BaseonGuam Navaland Base Naval Guam Hospital. and Naval Hospital.

• Modern International, • Modern International, Inc. was awarded Inc. was about awarded $18.6Mabout to $18.6M • Fargo to Pacific • Fargo Inc. toPacific repair Inc. water to transmission repair water line transmission vault line vault remove aprons remove and construct aprons and twoconstruct hangars at two Andersen hangarsAFB. at Andersen valve AFB. covers between valve covers Naval between Base Guam Navaland Base the Guam Barrigada and the Barrigada Reservoir. Reservoir. Source: Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG)

DID YOU KNOW? Brownout Is the New Burnout It’s difficult to retain talented and skilled workers in a competitive business environment, so don’t lose your best employees to brownout. The term “brownout” comes from the energy industry, where it means a drop in voltage that causes electronic devices/equipment to perform poorly and eventually burn out; or a lightbulb to dim or flicker. In workforce terms, brownout is a silent condition/problem affecting one-third of top performers who, over time, become disengaged at work and may be looking for a new job, according to a number of surveys. Employees experiencing brownout may seem to perform well; saying the right things, working long hours, participating in teams, and putting out work above and beyond. However, they also may be operating in a silent state of continual overwhelm. Over time, become disengaged and can be lured away by a

12 | JUNE2019

competitor. Contrary to what some employers may think, a pay raise is not the cure for brownout. The situation can get worse by letting employees hang onto the “team” despite their feelings of disengagement. Here are other ways to treat common causes of employee brownout: • Don’t give everyone an award: Dulling the shine of star employees by treating under-performers as equal may make them feel they can’t get ahead, no matter how they perform.

• Don’t overlook the big picture: Avoid the perception as a taskmaster and not leading/inspiring employees with a greater purpose can cause top performers to look elsewhere for meaningful work. • Make it a challenge: Don’t let the job get stale for star employees. Give them more responsibility over an important task or assign something new to them where they will thrive; however, be careful about overdoing it and piling on their workload.

• Give kudos: Even with top performing employees, it’s important to give them a pat on the back for their hard work, which shows you are appreciative.

• Try “active partnering”: Develop an approach that allows managers and star employees to openly discuss professional and personal goals and foster a supportive partnership.

• Show you care: Relationship with their boss is one of the reasons many people quit their jobs, so be a boss who can empathize with, praise, and listen to your employees.

• Encourage growth: Don’t let your top talent get stale; encourage them and invest in their pursuits for on-the-job learning or more formal education and training programs.


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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT In observance of National Small Business Week May 5-11, Ms. Catherine Cruz Norton (NAVFAC Marianas Public Affairs Office) spoke with a team of Small Business experts on how they routinely collaborate to help maximize small business participation in federal government contracting. In the photo below from left, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Guam Certified Small Business Advisor Jane Ray, SBDC Guam Senior Certified Small Business Advisor Denise Mendiola, Guam Chamber of Commerce member and Galaide Professional Services Inc. (GPSI) owner Albert Yanger, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Small Business Program Director Albert Sampson and Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Procurement Counselor Gerardine Mendiola.

Photo courtesy of NAVFAC Marianas Public Affairs Office

The GCA Small Business Committee, Guam SBDC, and Guam PTAC co-sponsored a "U.S. Dept of Labor Apprenticeship Program" workshop on May 8, 2019 at the University of Guam.

Photo by Jane Ray

Ms. Phyllis Topasna, Guam Dept of Labor (GDOL) Program Coordinator, did a tremendous job providing an overview of the USDOL Apprenticeship Program and how it ties in with the GDOL’s program. She touched on basic program requirements, factors to consider before going through the program, limitations, how can a small business take advantage of the program, potential support resources, as well as tips from successful companies that have gone through the program.

The 35th Guam Legislature passed Resolution 126-35 celebrating National Small Business Week from May 5 through May 11, 2019 to commend those who are the cornerstone of Guam’s economy. The Resolution recognized a number of organizations for “working every day to grow small businesses, create new jobs, and help to develop a sustainable living” and “dedicated to promoting Small Businesses in Guam and the Micronesia region.” Some of the organizations recognized include the Guam Contractors Association (GCA), Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network (PISBDCN), Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the NAVFAC Office of Small Business Programs (OSB).

Photo by Jane Ray

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JUNE2019 | 13



WANTED: A FEW GOOD MEN AND WOMEN • The GCA Small Business Committee supports small business members of the association to ensure their voices are heard and needs are met within GCA capabilities. • Do you have an issue or concern that we might be able to assist with? • Do you have an idea or suggestion that may benefit our small business community?

HELP US HELP YOU BY JOINING US AT OUR MONTHLY MEETINGS OR CONTACT: Dave Hayner (Chair) Jessica Barrett (Co-Chair) Gerardine Mendiola (Co-Chair)

(671) 989-094


(671) 734-5246 swat@guam.net (671) 647-2895 gmendiola@guamptac.com

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, June 25th, 11:30 a.m. at the GCA Conference Room 202. Please RSVP with Elaine Gogue at elaine.gogue@guamcontractors.org

GUAM PTAC FREE PUBLIC WORKSHOPS The Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is offering FREE workshops to the public for May 2019. Please spread the word to all local, small businesses. Workshops run from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. at the University of Guam in the Jesus & Eugenia Leon Guerrero Business and Public Administration Building. Margarita Duenas Perez & Jaime Felipe Tuquero IT&E Lecture Hall, 131 (unless otherwise specified)

06/20 2019

Room 149

Teaming and Joint Ventures What are they and which is right for your business? The Guam PTAC will discuss the federal regulations related to these arrangements and discuss ways to use these arrangements effectively.

Intro to Government of Guam Procurement

06/27 2019

The Guam PTAC will explain Government of Guam Procurement, where to find opportunities, and how to submit bids

Register at: guamptac.ecenterdirect.com For Project Management Professionals, Guam PTAC workshops may count toward your annual Professional Development Unit (PDU) goals! For more information, contact the Guam PTAC at (671) 735-2552 or visit www.guamptac.com

14 | JUNE2019


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SMALL BUSINESS FOCUS Håfa Adai! Thank you for welcoming us to Guam. We value the local relationships and friendships we have formed and look forward to working with the community as we grow our business. About us: North Wind Group (North Wind) is an award-winning small business with more than 1,200 staff across 35 offices. Our vision is to be a leader in the engineering, environmental, construction and technical service industries, providing creative and practical solutions, while delivering safely, on time, and on budget. North Wind is a government contracting holding entity, owned by Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI), an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC), comprised of 11 subsidiary companies that includes SBA-certified 8(a) and HUBZone companies. North Wind has performed more than 5,000 projects ($3B in value) for a wide range of federal, state, and private industrial clients. We also have proven performance in the Pacific, including projects in Guam, Hawaii, Wake Island, and Johnston Atoll for multiple government agencies. History: North Wind, Inc. was founded in 1997 as an environmental engineering and earth sciences consulting and management

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firm with its corporate office in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In 2010, North Wind was acquired by CIRI Development Group, and expanded into construction, facility and infrastructure, and professional engineering services. North Wind is now backed by a $1 billion balance sheet and greater than $250 million in bonding capacity, allowing our company to grow while maintaining its entrepreneurial spirit. North Wind’s small business structure also enables us to quickly respond to opportunities in remote and austere environments. Advantages of working with North Wind: North Wind performs design-build and design-bid-build civil construction, structural concrete construction, excavation and site reclamation, electrical and controls system installation, mechanical and plumbing systems upgrades, energy upgrades, and fuel systems maintenance and repair work. We exceed industry-average Health & Safety performance with an EMR of 0.71, and our Quality Assurance program is compliant with ISO-9001 and ASME NQA-1. Through our 8(a) ANC status, North Wind can receive sole source contracts, providing our clients with a streamlined avenue to robust capabilities; and subcontracts awarded to North Wind can be counted towards a Prime Contractor’s small


business goals. Most notably however, our record reflects nearly 90% of our projects are acquired through competitive bidding and excellent project performance.. Local presence: North Wind officially opened its office in Guam earlier this year, led by local Operations Manager Doyon Ahn Morato and Pacific Rim Regional Business Development Manager Jeffrey Clark. North Wind has worked in Guam in the past, developing the design and procurement package for roof repairs and upgrades to the air traffic control tower at Guam International Airport under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Commitment to Guam: North Wind operates in a “team spirit” environment where we mentor, trust and empower our employees with professional development to ensure high job satisfaction. We will employ this same approach as we grow our local workforce on Guam and maintain our corporate philosophy of being a good partner in the community. We look forward to actively participating and supporting Guam and the Marianas through job fairs, local professional and community organizations, partnering events and projects.


JUNE2019 | 15

John Robertson’s Legacy By: R.D. Gibson


According to Google, the word ‘legacy’ means something left behind a predecessor. It usually denotes the ending of something - a reign, era, etc. More than anything, it evokes a feeling of sentiment for something that is difficult to replace. It gives us that moment to take a look back on what was, always with a tinge of nostalgia and a whole lot of joy. It reminds us of the experiences we had, the lessons we learned, and moreover the people who were part of the journey. Part of a legacy are words that are exchanged; a big part of this exchange is the topics and their impact on the community as a whole. Granted, there are so many events and issues that continuously affect our Pacific paradise, let alone the construction industry. From the Port Authority of Guam Modernization, the ‘impending’ military buildup, the ongoing issues with the H2-B visas for foreign labor, local workforce development crisis, the looming threats of North Korea, local, national, regional, and international politics. Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate around these issues without the proper insight and context. For these issues - and many more - we seek out the sage wisdom and direction from industry insiders. Enter upstage, Mr. John Robertson. For years, Robertson has not just shed light on the issues at hand, but put them into context as to how they affect Guam, her economy, and the construction industry. In his monthly columns for the Construction News Bulletin for the Guam Contractors Association, he has provided extensive historical and current background information to better understand current events. If you Google him, his resume for Interface Consulting International, Inc. pops up. It reads like a world traveler’s meets an engineer’s dream. Having worked overseas in places like Thailand, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan, he also has worked in several states between the Midwest and Hawai’i. Specializing in Claims Preparation and Analysis, Damage Assessment, Contract Evaluation, Schedule Delay Analysis, Causation Analysis, and Strategic Planning - among others Robertson brought forty years of experience and expertise to our part of the world. Robertson is the founding member and Principal Engineer for Amorient Engineering. The engineering firm provides Planning, Engineering, and Construction Management services. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science in Architectural Engineering. He’s been awarded the Guam Contractors Association 2017 Champion Award. He sits on several community boards, including the Guam Contractor Association, the GCA Trades Academy, SAME Guam Post, the Guam Employers Council, the Guam Symphony Society, and he is a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Guam School of Engineering.

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This month, Robertson will retire from the industry. When talk of retirement comes up, there seems to be this air of finality; that “that is all, folks!” kind of talk. However, there really is not an end to one’s work. There is a continuity that stems from inspiration and connectivity. Bert Johnston, Education Director at the GCA Trades Academy said, “He had a strong and unparalleled working knowledge and history of the issues facing the construction industry.” Further, Johnston stated that Robertson was “the champion” in establishing the Guam Trades Academy and setting it up for success. “Without him, I suspect the Guam Contractors Association would still be talking about the concept.” Johnston said he learned “dedication to the cause and sincere humbleness” from Robertson and incorporates those values continuously into his work. Robertson’s humility ironically shines through in his dedication to several organizations echoed by Johnston and MaryJo Pablo, Business Manager at Amorient Engineering. “[His work has] and will continue to benefit the community for years to come.” Of course, she points to the above-mentioned community organizations Robertson brought his Midas touch to. Pablo talked about Robertson’s humor and how he joked around in the office, but overall, “By working with John, I have learned everything I know about the engineering and construction industry and introduced to various organizations that support the industry,” she stated. “The knowledge and connections assist me in all of my administrative duties within Amorient.” William Beery, General Manager of the Tutujan Hill Group, recalled working with Robertson in the Guam Society of Professional Engineers, and Beery taking its reigns as president with Robertson’s support, and getting ‘the organization kicking again.’ By looking at his accolades and work in the community, it is easy to see a legacy for the ages. Johnston said, “John left his fingerprints everywhere.” MaryJo described Robertson as “Intelligent, hard-working, patient, kind, generous”. And Beery said he is the “most dynamic ‘old’ man I’ve met.” However, the world, Guam’s construction industry, and all its intricacies has no concept of finality. They continue on, and according to Pablo, Robertson is leaving the construction industry “with a solid foundation for (sic) education and training, as well as a great working relationship with the government and military.” For Robertson, who prefers shrimp kelaguen over chicken, said he is anticipating more time with his family, particularly with his five grandsons and two great-grandsons and “vacation travel”.


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With regard to legacies, we look to the ones who have lived their best lives, who have left an obvious mark on their community, and whose work has made progressive waves in the community. When asked if he could provide any advice, he pulled the humility card: “I am not qualified to offer sage advice,” he stated. “Let’s leave that to others.” Sure. His columns were never used to persuade readers, more like inform and allow others to make their own decisions about timely, pressing issues. However, looking back on his legacy, Robertson cites the establishment of the GCA Trades Academy in 2006, and the sappling relationship which has grown over the last decade with the Guam Community College and Dr. Mary Okada as memorable moments. It is funny Robertson isn’t planning on being ‘fully retired’; he said he hopes to continue to consult with ‘Amorient and other organizations’. “I have never tried to build a legacy,” stated Robertson. “I do hope that I am remembered for making a positive contribution to the Guam Community, whether through GCA, SAME or the Chamber of Commerce.” If

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that’s not an understatement, I don’t know what is - especially with what has been said about his contributions by those in the industry. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the idea of what a legacy actually is. Is it the end of something, or the beginning? Sometimes they manifest out of nowhere. Sure, people work every day to leave a lasting impression in their communities, but those that last a lifetime come in the form of hard work, doing good work, and humility. Frank Ocean is cited as saying, “Work hard in silence, let success be your noise.” Maybe Ocean took a page out of Robertson’s yet-to-be-written autobiography! Happy Retirement, John! On behalf of the Guam Contractors Association, sen dangkulo’ na si Yu’os Ma’åse and best wishes on your next adventure!


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A Few Moments with John Over the Years

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JOB FAIR By: R.D. Gibson


It is graduation season after all. It’s the time in a young adult’s life when life can seem like it’s on a certain path yet directionless at the same time. It is a time for sappy speeches, helium balloons, air horns, chenchule’ envelopes, fiestas, celebratory dinners, and spending those last few months with your friends before you make your way off to college. College isn’t for everybody though. It is good to have a degree, but sometimes finding a job with that degree can prove to be difficult. At this point, it really is all about acquiring the highdemand skills necessary to make a living, and many are finding them in the construction and engineering industry, learning hands-on skills. In an article featured on The Hechinger Report by Matt Krupnick, California is beginning to push more toward trades education; budgetting “millions to rebrand long-disparaged vocational training.” Also, in an article from Houston Public Media, a service of the University of Houston, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was interviewed about training for apprenticeships in engineering and construction. She supported the work during a construction training she attended in Texas citing how important public-private partnerships provide opportunities for people throughout the different communities. This isn’t something new as the Trump Administration has been pushing for more apprenticeship training programs throughout. According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center of Education Statistics, in 2009, more workers with occupational training as opposed to academic credentials were employed, and more of them worked in a field related to their field of study. In an economy where specialized, hands-on jobs are becoming more and more common, it seems only that we need to find where the jobs are. Krupnick reported in the Hechinger Report that with a national push for college degrees, factories were left with few skilled workers. Sometimes this even sparks the debate about whether going into debt for a college degree is worth it at all - but we can save that for another time. Black Construction Corporation was hustling and bustling on May 25, 2019. It could have been for anything really - anything good. BCC is always steadfast in working to engage community stakeholders and its employees. This time it was for their first ever job fair. In an attempt to engage and attract local talent, the job fair was set up especially for students to give them an idea of what kind of jobs are available at BCC. Sometimes just a foot in the door is all it takes to spark interest in the multi-faceted world of construction and contracting. Positions up for grabs at Black Construction Corporation’s firstever job fair included professional, administrative professional, and clerical positions, like project managers, surveyors, proposal managers, safety officers and administrators, warehouse managers, human resources managers and clerks, accountants, and

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mechanical and electrical engineers. For these positions, post-secondary education and work experience was required, but they were also looking for people to fill in craft positions, like crane operators, carpenters, masons, electricians, welders, iron workers, plumbers, heavy equipment operators, and heavy equipment mechanics. These positions include training and classes offered by the Guam Trades Academy. Leonard Kaae, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Black Construction Corporation stated that job fairs like these entice talent - “experienced job seekers and educated students that are eager and ready to get out of the job market.” Fairs like theirs also help these job seekers and students figure out exactly what they want to do in the industry. “Should [they] not be interested in immediate employment, he or she can meet with a Black representative to discuss their desired trade and what sort of skill set and qualifications are required in the case they decide to apply in the future or prepare themselves for their chosen career path,” Kaae stated. Kaae briefly mentioned the shift in the education philosophies and focus as mentioned above - career readiness and trades. “Many educators are limited by their lack of knowledge about the construction industry,” Kaae stated. He continued how Black Construction can “serve as a resource to educators to help inform students about the construction industry to promote...real opportunities in this dynamic sector.” According to Kaae, 160 potential employees walked through their compound the day of the fair. BCC worked with the Guam Department of Education to get the word out, and Kaae cited their efforts in enticing a substantial number of young adults and experienced job seekers. “It has given our company the opportunity to connect with students and experienced job seekers that may have an interest in being part of the construction industry,” Kaae said. He added that it’s also a good way to get the next generation excited about possibly getting into the construction industry. Mark Mamczarz, Vice President of Finance at Black Construction Corporation, stated initially the event was originally meant to be a “Career Day” of sorts. It turned into a job fair with the help and effort from the Guam Department of Education. “We do not pass on talent,” said Mamczarz. “Black’s goal is to use its facilities to show students [a] comprehensive view of the industry.” Frank Leon Guerrero, Project Coordinator for the Career Pathway Project at the Guam Department of Education, spoke about the possibilities available after going to any job fair meeting prospective employers, seeing “first-hand what careers are available”, and even getting insight into careers they might not have originally considered.


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Leon Guerrero also mentioned briefly how his program at GDOE has partnerships with the Guam Community College and the GCA Trades Academy to help students take advantage of their respective programs. “By offering these [programs] to our students, we are preparing them for jobs in various Industries and building Guam's future workforce,” Leon Guerrero explained. Leon Guerrero illustrated what went on at the job fair, and the synergy of the Black Construction organization. “[...]It was great information for me to see how the various shops at Black worked together on a project,” said Leon Guerrero. Operating “heavy equipment, masonry,... painting each had an integral part to play in a construction project and how all of their work was a carefully coordinated symphony of teamwork and meeting deadlines.” These experiences are all part of the in-demand jobs in the construction industry that many got to see for themselves at the job fair. James Martinez, President of the Guam Contractors Association points to the idea of touring the facility where you could potentially work gives job seekers an idea of the reality of working there. With a push for more students to get more students interested in the construction industry, it is imperative that potential employers look at their potential employees. Martinez stated, “BCC is proactive in their approach to recruit these students and give them exposure to what can be expected if they were employed by BCC.” Further, Martinez added, “The industry has to do more in terms of reaching out to the community and in particular to our middle and high schools. We need to showcase our industry and what we do, and talk about the opportunities the industry offers them.” Martinez claimed the H2-B Visa issue in the industry is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because it caused an obstacle for companies to get foreign skilled labor for their projects, yet it put a spotlight on the program itself that can be scrapped at any time or require more hurdles to jump through. Additionally, it began to refocus the industry concentration toward training residents. “With the volume of work coming down the pike, a career in this industry is a viable and promising career option for anyone interested in construction,” said Martinez.

Martinez points to the process of getting industry certifications and credentials; a process that requires enrolling in courses outside of GDOE schools and tapping into resources at the Guam Community College or the GCA Trades Academy. “GCC offers an Associates Degree and industry certifications in some of the trades,” explained Martinez. He continued, “GCA Trades Academy offers nationally-recognized credentials...through the National Center of Construction Education and Research.” Martinez spoke about GCA’s initiative for more outreach. This includes, the Pizza, Pop, and Power Tools program, which is focused on helping middle school and high school girls to get an industry snapshot through hands-on experiences and tools used throughout the trades. We live in an unconventional time when people are tapping into their talents, and sometimes they don’t even know they have them, can make money with these skills, and tap into their passions. It is becoming increasingly more prevalent and important for students to get their hands dirty. Long gone are the days when a textbook was the only tool teachers used to educate, and teachers were the only ones who were in the classroom. It has become part of the concerted, proactive efforts from the industry, Black Construction Corporation, the Guam Contractors Association, and the Guam Department of Education to integrate programs and job fairs to get students prepared for the workforce of the future, and just get them excited about building. Events like the BCC job fair give potential graduates an idea of the different options they have, and isn’t that what we want our students to have at the end of the day - opportunities? Martinez points to above-all changing a mindset about the industry. Whether it’s getting more girls operating backhoes or building tool boxes, or having more local students enrolled in the GCA Trades Academy coursework for certification and getting certified and licensed, we need to take a look at the education that is going to get people paid but also build passion for their community. It is really about looking at the options and deciding what to do. I wonder if there are gift certificates for the GCA Trades Academy courses.

Echoing Kaae calling the event a success, Martinez said there should be more of these events for different contractors. It is a way to showcase the construction industry and its many careers. “There is an interest in the industry and people want to explore these options,” he said. “The more events we hold like this, the more we can reach out to the future workforce to spread the word about careers in construction.”

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