Guam-A Different Perspective

Washington DC in February is always a hotbed of activity.  The Nation's Governors are in town.  Lobbyists are busy getting their issues before as many decision makers on the Hill as can be fit into a 24-hour day.  Congressional members are working frantically to complete constituent work ahead of the Easter Break.  Don't forget the occasional mid-term fundraiser or two.  This year though is a bit different.

Sequestration is the focus in our Nation's Capitol and in statehouses all across America including Guam.  Today, President Barack Obama called for Congressional leaders to meet to resolve $85 Billion dollars in across the board cuts to the Federal Governmentexpected to go in effect at 3pm Friday Guam time.  There has been well-publicized plans by the U.S. Senate to reprogram the cuts-but they may not have enough votes to pass.  Realistically, the last minute activity may not result in anything positive. 

The cuts will happen and they will be deep.

For Guam what does it mean?  Government of Guam staffers and Executive Branch Agency Directors are asking their federal counterparts for a breakdown of what to expect over the remainder of this fiscal year.  The information has been slow in coming.  Real slow.  Even Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, who is in Washington DC at the writing of this post is sitting ringside for this battle between the White House and Congress, can't even get the details on the impacts to Guam -a serious, yet predictable, oversight by federal appropriators.  Guam Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo is in the same boat-the senior stateswoman left asking more questions and unable to get back solid details either of the impacts of the mandatory federal cuts to the Insular Areas.  Even Guam Legislative Speaker Judy Won Pat is reportedly trying to rally staffers to get  information that may impact Guam General Fund-funded programs and services into the final two quarters of FY 2013.

Locally, there is plenty of speculation of what may happen in the days and months to come.  COMNAVMAR is saying there will be an impact, but no official word on a detailed process to reduce costs-mainly personnel.  The list of discretionary and mandatory programs impacted by cuts is huge and touches the broadest section of the Guam community.  Federally funded activities from housing to conservation to healthcare on island will not be spared pain from the lack of federal action by Congress.  This is not a good sign for an isolated American economy that was turning a corner with the surge in our number one economic engine-tourism. 

What plays out between the Obama Administration and Senate and House Leaders will be telling.  But I can tell you-this has been coming for years.  With no real budgets passed during the President's first term, did we really believe that Continuing Resolutions would keep America going?  Is this the new normal in the United States?  I think this whole Sequester thing  is more of a lesson in decision making-or lack of it.  Elected leaders were given the mantle of leadership by the electorate. Each elected to do their jobs to run the business of our Great Nation. They have nothing to show for their effort.  In the end, it is the electorate that will ultimately suffer for the inaction of nearly five years.  

We should all be concerned about the actions in Washington DC in the coming days.  We should have been concerned four years ago with the election of the Democrat President and majorities in the House and Senate.  Though the balance of power is somewhat different, Washington DC is still working full steam ahead like nothing is wrong with our economic and social well being.

The Sequestration issue will have long term affects on the delivery of public services from Maine to California and from Puerto Rico to theNorthern Mariana Islands.  Not a single American will be spared.  Each of us relies in some way or form on federal services and the corresponding impact on local government programs that serves our greater community. I say-keep an eye on this matter which could change the way America delivers services to its citizenry including those in Guam.  

Don't worry the rest of the world is watching too, as they will be impacted by America's budget fight and implications that will fall well into the months and years to come.  

Let's hope March is a better month for us all.

An American Company and Economy Poised for Growth

As I spent time preparing for this post, I thought it would be nice to point out a great article about our friends at Savoy Furniture that features the Montoursville, Pennsylvania company and their storied history.

With humble beginnings as a machine wood carving shop to a modern furniture manufacturing company, this feature spells out their business into 2011-when the article was written. 

Beds. Chests. Desks.  It is what they do best. They are an American success story surviving the ups and downs of our Nation's economy over the past six decades.  They also were "green" way before their competitors.  Savoy and their practices have been environmentally friendly-a model for other corporations in their industry to follow.  Take the time to read the Williamsport Sun-Gazette article-it is pretty good.

On a side note, I had a brief talk today with Jason Saylor of Savoy who was on the road in Georgia.  It was the reminder of just how busy the Savoy team is in developing business around the country and our important role with Savoy to grow their business where America's Day Begins.  Savoy's place with a GSA Schedule generally means a huge advantage to them with the federal government-this despite a Sequester that has many concerned about the fate of doing business with Uncle Fed in the near term. 

The fallout? 

Hopefully the policy decisions on Capitol Hill act as a catalyst for growth of the U.S. Economy which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce described in their recent outlook for 2013 as "solid but not spectacular". 

I say, "Hey Washington DC-Get your act together for the sake of Americans all across the globe!!!".

Lighting Giant Named One of Most Disruptive Companies in America

Not exactly a term of endearment for one of our country's leading technology firms and one led by the man who got me into the energy services business shortly after leaving government service.

Philips, the leader in LED lighting technologies has been identified in the field of Energy and Materials as one of 2013's 50 Disruptive Companies, MIT Technology Review's annual list of the world's most innovative technology companies.  The dubious honor will be highlighted in the March/April edition of MIT Technology Review that hits newsstands on March 5, 2013.

President and CEO of Philips Lighting North America Bruno Biasiotta interviewed me in February 2010 for a position with Johnson Controls when he served as the General Manager of Building Efficiency. Bruno joined Philips in July 2012.

Over the last year, Philips has worked to drive down the cost of LED light bulbs by introducing 88 ENERGY STAR qualified LED bulbs that allow these products to qualify for utility rebates and lower the cost to consumers, including equivalents for 60, 75 and 100-watt incandescent bulbs.  The company has also introduced disruptive lighting technologies such as the award-winning L Prize bulb and Philips hue, the world's smartest light bulb which can be managed from iPhone or Android devices.

Publisher and editor in chief of MIT Technology Review Jason Pontin said that the pace at which technology changes is astounding. "This issue celebrates organizations at the forefront, displaying 'disruptive innovation' that will prove to surpass the competition, transform an industry, and change our lives," said Pontin. "Philips is making efficient LED light bulbs more affordable and one new bulb can even be controlled by phones and tablets." 

The strategy is simple: As LED light bulbs use up to 85 percent less energy than traditional bulbs while lasting up to 25 times longer-get them in the hands of consumers.

Philips is striving to bring value through this effort.  In the process being praised or vilified for their efforts to advance a growing industry.

Directing Focus-An Ambit Energy Tip

National Consultant for Ambit Energy Carlos Marin has been spot on lately.  GET LLC and other members of the Ambit Energy family are happy to have him and his powerful insight into doing business.  This week he sent this to Consultants like us at GET LLC-short and sweet to say the least related to focus.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want.  No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”  -Paulo Coelho

Carlos writes that when your thoughts and feelings are concentrated on a specific, clear, and consistent purpose nothing can hold you back from achieving your desires.

He adds that in today's world it's easy to be distracted... there's always stuff to do at home, at work, with 
family etc., however, it's up to you to make the decision to focus on your business and hold the vision of how it will feel when you're a National Consultant wearing a yellow jacket! : )

Again to find out how to turn on the cash flow whenever someone uses electricity and gas at

Looking for additional income opportunities? Ask us how. Ambit Energy is now in California-just a heads up!

Emission-Free Powered Aerial Lifts Gaining Popularity

GET LLC has acquired a Genie TZ-50, a trailer-mounted and battery powered articulating boom lift.  This 4400 pound solution to your aerial lift needs is on Guam and ready for use on your respective job site.  As our competitors offer a similar solution with diesel, our emission-free lift helps bring a different and more environmentally friendly alternative to building owners and conscious contractors.  

And this effort is growing. 

A great article on this trend can be found at, one of the United Kingdom's leading construction based search engines.  Yes-Terex, the parent company of Genie, is based in Europe.  The article showcases the Genie-line of emissions-free lifts among others.  It appears that our friends across the pond are embracing this trend.  Will it catch here?


GET, LLC can address your sustainable lift needs, so please drop us a line or call us for more information and lift availability.

Some great news from Terex to add: Terex’s net profit for 2012 was up +134% on the previous year to US$ 106 million., while the company’s revenues climbed +13% to US$ 7.35 billion. “We made significant progress in 2012," said Terex chairman and CEO Ron DeFeo. "We are optimistic about our business as we begin 2013."  

Good job Terex from the newest member of your Terex Family in the Western Pacific.

Guam-A Different Perspective

If you been anywhere near the Mangilao Campus recently, you will find a place with students eager to learn.  It was the "natural choice" for them to choose UOG to pursue a college degree. While you would think  many of them are just from Guam, you would be pleasantly surprised to learn that the students are from all over the region and some from locations in North America and Asia.  Each one goes to class each day focused on getting homework done, preparing for a presentation and researching the stacks at the library to finish that assigned paper on a myriad of topics from art to nursing.  It has been a sight to see the "desire" that Dr. Underwood wrote about five years ago. 

Introspection and discernment are in fact being taught by the great faculty at the Western Pacific's premier institution of higher learning.  The challenge to seek justice is not a cliché for the students, but an attitude missing among many of those of Generation Y.  What I have experienced first-hand from Generation Y is the "why?" . 

Generation Y is asking the hard questions, pushing everyone else to pay attention and either help answer them or they will seek out those answers themselves.  We must pay attention:     New research on Generation Y reveals that almost 70 per cent would buy a market leading brand if friends and family were using it, making them major influencers on purchase behavior. A survey by Incite revealed that 61 per cent said recommendations from peers are very important when deciding to buy a product or service and 23 per cent would trust the opinion of others on purchase decisions compared to 15 per cent who would primarily trust their own decisions. In 2009, Deloitte and Touche reported that Generation Y are a confident empowered generation with a sense of self-worth and responsibility all thanks to their computer literacy and tech savvy.  Even the Vatican, on the heels of selecting a new Pope, is looking for an empathetic selection for the papacy to restore the values of faith, love and coexistence in the religion of one billion members worldwide.

I am witness to the relentless search for truth and justice by students of the University of Guam.  As a community, we should all be proud of the numbers that are enrolling there.  As parents, we should be proud of their efforts to enrich their lives through education.  As students, you should be proud of taking that huge step and finding the truth in art, communications, psychology, biology or whatever your heart is telling you to look at to further grow your knowledge base.  

The other day, I heard someone mention that a bachelors degree in college means absolutely nothing.  I could not tell you if that person in fact had a college degree.  I am not certain that this person does not have or had a child or children that may have been attending or have graduated from a university.  It was such an awkward statement-baseless is another way to describe it.  I would disagree that such is not useful in the ever-changing world we live in today. An education is so much more important today than ever before.

We should be pushing more and more students in the high schools to attain their college education.  While struggles continue to prepare them for such, our communities must embrace the qualities that exemplify a college educated young person.  Let us not forget that it will be their hopes and dreams that will be tomorrow's great ideas in innovation and advancement as a citizen of this planet.  

Armed with the tidbits from this particular blog post, certainly what will follow will be something special for our island and our world.

Fitial Resigns as CNMI Governor-Where is the Commonwealth Headed?

A sad day across the Marianas Archipelago as Benigno Repeki Fitial resigned today as Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  Some of my friends from the North may disagree with the first sentence of this post.  Many love him, many hate him. To me, Governor Fitial is one of the most interesting men I have had the privilege of working with in my professional life. 

I first met him while getting a Joint Communique of the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit signed just days after his inauguration on January 9, 2006.  This kind man, somewhat of a throw-back to the days of the Trust Territories of the Pacific was very firm when I asked for his signature. "What's this for?", he asked me. I told him it was for my former boss and then Guam Governor Felix Camacho and the leaders of Western Micronesia. "Ok," Fitial responded."But since the Governor sent you here and you are asking, I guess I better sign." He signed the document with a coy smile.  Not what I expected from our first meeting.  The exchange was the start to a relationship that I will cherish always. 

From our interactions at the Nine of the Chiefs Summits from Yap to Saipan to Guam to Palau to many meetings on Capitol Hill and the Federal Region IX in California, Governor Fitial has always put the needs of the people of the CNMI first in his talks and foremost in front of every federal bureaucrats. He and First Lady Josie were always great ambassadors of the people of the NMI every where they went.  Also, Governor Fitial was a great storyteller, joke teller and karaoke singer. Though he has been troubled with back problems and other health issues, his smile has lit up rooms all over the region and the across the world in his travels.

But these anecdotes may only be footnotes in history of a tumultuous term of a one of the most storied leaders of Micronesia.  What was Fitial up against? The economy of the CNMI was brought to its knees by a vindictive political machine in Washington DC led by California Congressman George Miller who spearheaded the increase of the minimum wage in 2007 and a federal takeover of immigration into the Commonwealth in 2008-all linked to the CNMI's relationship with convicted felon and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  The end result was the loss of manufacturing and tax revenues.  Additionally, neglect and lack of resources placed Saipan's fragile power and water system in the crosshairs of federal regulators which forced more controls and a lack of technical assistance to give the people a modern utility infrastructure. The end result has been continued rolling blackouts and brackish water.  These are just two of the myriad of issues facing this Carolinian and Satawalese raised historian, businessman and dedicated family man each day since elected Governor. 

Toss in the fact that his first Lieutenant Governor was convicted on federal fraud charges and the CNMI House of Representatives and Senate for seven years blocked the creation of substantive local policy for the benefit of all the people of the NMI, Governor Fitial governed to the best of his ability up into his final day in office.

When the smoke clears from Ben Fitial's resignation, what is next for the Office of the Governor of the CNMI?  

I am a big fan of Lieutenant Governor and now Governor Eloy Inos.  The two giants of the CNMI political landscape have not always saw eye to eye.  Both have had disagreements-publically and privately.  But now, with Fitial out the entire CNMI and region is looking to Inos to move the Northern Marianas forward and improve upon some of the good work the duo accomplished together. 

How will the people respond?  Will it be better?  Will it be much of the same?  If it is the latter, no one can put the blame of a people's woes on the back of one of Micronesia's great statesman.  

We all wish Governor Inos and the people of the CNMI luck as a new chapter opens in the Commonwealth's history.  Inos does have his hands full. Let's see where the new leadership takes the people of the CNMI.

Independence LED Available on GSA Schedule-Official Corporate Release

I know that GET LLC was excited to announce recently that our friends at Independence LED Lighting and their products are on the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule.

As I had previously mentioned, this effort was well over a year in the making. 

This is such a huge opportunity for Independence LED and for GET LLC.  As an authorized dealer, we stand ready to help federal agencies in Guam and throughout the Pacific Rim, bring this high quality and "American Made" product to your respective installations and or facilities. We can bring 80 products to your buildings that we believe will go far in meeting the aggressive federal energy efficiency goals set out by statute and the executive direction by the Obama Administration-specifically the very aggressive efforts to reduce energy consumption across the Department of Defense who is the largest consumer of energy of all the Executive Branch agencies.

Good news considering how cash strapped the states and territories are today.

Again, kudos to Independence LED.  Check out our website at for details on how we can help you with your construction materials and supplies needs-including those for your next LED Lighting project.

The Most Effective Way to Handle Every Objection-Word of Advice from an Ambit Energy Executive Consultant

The following comes from Executive Consultant Julius Weems-the man behind Team Achieve 526.  This piece puts into perspective some of the challenges we face as a small business and wanted to share with other small business owners.  This was part of a recent email to the members of his team-including GET LLC and we felt strongly that we should pass it along to you all. 

Julius recently said that imagine you are deep in conversation with a prospect and everything is flowing really well. Suddenly you are hit with an objection. Your immediate thoughts may be, “Where the heck did that come from?” Understanding where objections come from will help prepare you to handle every objection effectively.

He remarked that when a new prospect raises an objection or asks a question, oftentimes it is based on some general knowledge, hearsay, or something they just happened to pick up in conversation.

With that background in place, let’s discuss how you handle those objections when they do arise. If you get this part wrong you’ll greatly reduce your chances of closing the prospect to take a positive action.

Remember that:
  • You’re not there to win an argument.
  • You’re not there to create an argument.
  • You’re not there to get mad.
  • You’re not there to feel guilty or go on the defensive about some general comments the prospect makes, based on hearsay.

Not easy at times – especially when handling objections made by family or friends. Such situations can really get out of hand. You have to be able to rid yourself of the mindset that you have to win. You have to answer keeping one very important thing in mind: The only purpose of handling an objection is to help your prospect get past what’s currently stopping them from getting what they want.

Julius reminds us all to make sure that all your conversations are for their benefit. In this way, you will do far better because they will then trust you and trust what you say. By giving them answers that help them – not you, you will win their trust in you.

Again to find out how to turn on the cash flow whenever someone uses electricity and gas at

Looking for additional income opportunities? Ask us how.

Obama State of the Union Described by Steel Producers as "mixed bag"; Steel Imports on the Rise

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reacted to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address by saying it did lay out some"positive goals", but was short on specifics.  

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.

The nation's largest trade organization representing steel products was pleased with the recognition of the steel industry in the speech, but was looking for more details from the President on how they and other industries would push the American economy forward. AISI President and CEO Thomas Gibson said President Obama fell short on details to correct America's massive trade imbalance with China-a huge steel exporter, tax reform, and energy independence.

“We are encouraged that some of the President’s proposals will benefit the steel industry, but are also disappointed that he did not lay out concrete plans to achieve the goals," said Gibson.  "We will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to turn the rhetoric into action.”

The President's policy speech comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Commerce reporting last week that steel imports are up, a strong sign of the market gaining ground this fiscal year.  AISI announced that steel import applicationsfor January totaled 2.6 million net tons (NT)-up eight percent from December2012. 

GET, LLC, through MCR Guam Inc. and MCR, LLP (One of the largest builders of Ceco Building Systems). is able to assist you with your steel construction needs.  Give us a call to discuss further.

A Great Partnership-Terex and ESPN

This is a great piece of news out of Nevada.  It speaks to the versatility of the Terex Brand-specifically Genie Lifts.  

Genie lift equipment provides solutions to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for a variety of application needs on a daily basis. Genie scissor and boomlifts are regularly used as elevated platforms for cameras and camera operators to tape and broadcast sporting events at the sports complex. 

The lifts are also used to perform ongoing maintenance at the 255-acre site. Additionally, Terex-branded light towers will light popular runDisney races that take place throughout the theme parks each year.

“ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex already uses Genie lift equipment,” said Matt Fearon, president, Terex Aerial Work Platforms. “By being the official lift equipment provider to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, it allows us to highlight the various applications and capabilities of our quality equipment at a variety of events across the complex.”

All we can say is "awesome". For more on bringing a Genie Solution to your workplace, please let us know-GET's TZ-50 is available for your aerial lift needs.

Guam-A Different Perspective

This Valentines' Day Holiday is taking on a much somber meaning in Guam this year.

Love-themed greeting cards, boxes of chocolates and quiet romantic dinners are traditionally the norm in this part of the world.  Many would call those items back dropped against Tumon or any part of our island's majestic coastlines creates lasting memories that keep visitors and residents alike in love with Guam well after the feast day of the third century Roman Saint. 

In 2013 it isn't courtly love that is on the minds of many here.

Two nights ago, a young man from Guam went from student inspiration to reckless felon.  In a fit of rage 21 year old Chad DeSoto told police that he "intended on hurting as many people with his vehicle initially and subsequently with his knife".  His 2007 Toyota Yaris and knife claimed three lives and injured 11 others including an eight-month old child.  While the questions linger on what was his mental state at the time of this horrific crime, the random act of violence has brought the wrong kind of attention to our island.  

And it could not have come at a worse time.

Expenditures to the U.S. Territories are threatened by fiscal cliff talks in Congress.  A new U.S. Secretary of Defense has yet to be sworn in and there is no word on the Nominee's commitment to improving the security posture across our region to include the important bases of the Western Pacific.  Local officials have hurled threats of lawsuits against the federal government for a myriad of issues related to unfunded mandates.  Residents continue to tighten belts with the surging costs of goods and services here.

All this while, our main economic engine-tourism-has throttled to new heights not see in about 15 years.

To keep ahead of the frantic pace of this breaking news story, the visitor industry put on a "full court press" to assure travelers that Guam is still a safe destination despite the news still developing about DeSoto's actions.  The Guam Governor's Office went to You Tube in an attempt to reach out to our source markets in to dispel any rumors about  the stability of the island's public safety.   Even the Japanese Government was thrust into action asking their traveling public to be vigilant while abroad.  

The result-many Japanese tourists and others from around the world still made their way through our airport and into our tourist district.  Hundreds still have their minds on enjoying the sun and surf of Guam now and in the days to come-most of which have only heard parts and pieces of what played out in Tumon recently.  

The tragedy in "Pleasure Island" may have been isolated.  The violence may be seen as an "anomaly".  Senseless nonetheless.

The reaction of Guam residents has been profound.  Our lone hospital was stretched to its limit and continues to perform for the best of the victims.  The security guards and law enforcement took immediate action to prevent further escalation and to protect those in the area at the time.  Less than 24 hours after the incident, many others gathered at the crime scene and prayed for calm and peace in our community. Expect more to come in the days ahead in support of the dead tourists and the injured visitors from all ends of the island. This terrible event has brought out the good in many from the deeds of a lone and troubled person.  

On this day reserved for lovers, we reflect on the outpouring of love for complete strangers. Times are surely changing in Paradise Guam. 

How LED Lighting Can Reduce Energy Use-An Electric TV Feature

GET, LLC wanted to share a very informative video that explains how LED Lighting can reduce energy.  

The myth that "size matters" is dispelled in this program focusing on the future of solid state lighting. 

Also it features the U.S. Department of Energy.  Many will say, "why is the federal government poking their nose in this industry?".  I would opine that over the next 20 years, their advocacy will see reductions all around the world in total energy consumption.

DOE Lighting Program Manager, Dr. James Brodrick spends time with Electric TV to explain some of the advantages of LED lighting and where to look for information that can help you learn more.

Check it out at

BTW-my brothers would be proud of me writing about this particular video segment as Electric TV is sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). I am proud of them and their work with their local IBEW in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This video made me reflect on these three things: There is no question that the increasing global appetite for power continues to increase the cost of electricity with no end in sight.  Guam and the island nations across the Pacific Rim have above average electricity costs.  Light Emitting Diodes can reduce the electricity cost of lighting by 50 percent or more with very short payback periods.

Give us a call or drop us a line to discuss bring an LED solution to your respective building or facility.

CLEAR Plan of Action for Business-Word of Advice from an Ambit Energy National Consultant

This piece of advice comes from National Consultant Carlos Marin.  His words continue to push us to strive to move ahead and not lose sight of what we are doing-with both our Ambit Energy Business and GET, LLC as a while.

Carlos recently said that it is very important that we have a CLEAR plan of action in our business.

He asks us all to think of our businesses as a skyscraper - for something of such great stature to be built it must first be creatively thought up, plans have to be drafted, the architect lays out the design, and each step is carefully designated to the people with the skill and expertise to get the job done.

Mr. Marin says our respective businesses  are no different. It's a team effort - you can't do it all on your own and it's impossible to create a business of substance without knowing exactly what you want it to look like.

He asks that we all take the time today to write down our goals for the day, week, month, and year - and start moving toward your goals and focusing on our long term plan of action, doing everything we can each day to advance yourself and your partners in business.

Carlos says as we continue to expand into new markets and grow together - the sky is truly the limit, but first, you have to draft your blueprint.  Thanks Carlos.   

On a side note, this video is changing Ambit Energy Businesses tremendously and would love for it to change yours.

Pop some popcorn and take an 1hour and 23 minute break to learn "How to Get a New MC started properly and help them get Paid in 28 hours not 28 days.

Again to find out how to turn on the cash flow whenever someone uses electricity and gas at

Looking for additional income opportunities? Ask us how.

NAWIC Call Out for Construction Education Visionary Award; NAWIC Guam Carnival a Huge Success

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is a busy bunch nowadays.  From their national office to the local Guam Branch, activities are picking up.

NAWIC has made a national call for nominees for the Carol A. Kueker Construction Education Visionary Award.  The award program recognizes on a national level the educator or advocate for and dedication to construction education.  This honor is carved out for a non-member of NAWIC who has worked aggressively to promote construction a a viable career path.  Members have until March 15, 2013 to submit awards packets to the NAWIC Educational Foundation based in Florida.  

We ask locally, who would be a great nominee this year for Kueker Award. 

At first blush, Dr. Mary Okada from the Guam Community College comes to mind.  Her passion for the construction field is evidenced by her full commitment to the Guam Trades Academy and revamping the trades curriculum on the Mangilao campus.  She has been advocating for increased employment opportunities for the trades since she became President in 2007.  Dr. Okada has received many accolades from the Guam Contractors Association and Micronesian advocacy groups over the past five years and is considered a influential advisor to the leaders of the region through the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit.  When asked, Dr. Okada doesn't shy away from assisting many of the construction companies with her time to talk about the importance of apprenticeships or her passion for creating jobs through other professional skills training. Additionally, she is constantly backing groups like the Center for Micronesian Empowerment and the Guam Department of Education to bring more training opportunities to the broader workforce.  

We think that the Guam NAWIC present Dr. Okada for consideration for this prestigious award.

Additionally, this past week the NAWIC Guam Chapter #381 hosted its Carnival Mixer.  From my understanding it was a pretty good turnout by members and supporters of women in construction.  There are many leaders of the group to commend for putting this event together.  It was a great opportunity to network.  It was a great opportunity to discuss the issues facing construction today.  But importantly, it was yet another way to celebrate the influential women of Guam construction industry who have put much time and effort into creating more job opportunities for the greater Micronesian workforce.  There was great sponsorships of the events and importantly the discussions across the Guam International Airport Authority Cargo Building where it was held were significant towards understanding the construction climate in the region today.  Many discussions focused on how the region gets past the issues to get the Guam Buildup moving forward again.  Other talks focused on business diversity to ensure that groups look to alternatives to build business during these lean times.  

One thing is for certain, the Carnival Mixer was a huge success and many in attendance hope it is a catalyst to further engagement by NAWIC members and the region's construction industry.  

Despite Gains in Construction Jobs - Unemployment in Guam and the US Still High

Despite the addition of 28,000 jobs in January, the nation's construction industry unemployment rate shot up to 16.1 percent.  In an employment report released by the U.S. Department of Labor on February 1st, the January rate marks an increase from 13.5 percent in December 2012, but a decrease from 17.7 percent the same time last year. 

The labor report says that year over year, construction employment has risen by 102,000 jobs, or 1.8 percent. 

This seems to be consistent locally, as the Guam Department of Labor reported similarly in September that the island's construction industry saw an increase of 260 jobs from June's number of 5,880 to September's number of 6,140. Guam's Unemployment Rate is 10.9 percent.

Overall, the nation added 157,000 jobs as the private sector expanded by 166,000 jobs and the public sector shrunk by 9,000 jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' household survey, the national unemployment rate increased to 7.9 percent in January, up from 7.8 percent in December.

"For a second consecutive month, the nation's construction industry added jobs,"  Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu told Metal Construction News. "However, there are at least two reasons to question whether this improved performance is indicative of a broadening construction industry recovery or an example of the statistics being impacted by temporary phenomena.

Basu attributes recent construction employment fluctuations to the recent challenges with the winter weather season and Hurricane Sandy Recovery efforts.  Also, Basu says gross domestic product information is showing that economic expansion is not happening as quickly as have some experts had predicted.

"While fourth quarter output was impacted by a sharp decline in military outlays and negative adjustments to inventory, the data shows that economic activity is unlikely to accelerate meaningfully during the months ahead," said Basu. "The economy entered 2013 with precious little momentum, and now has to adjust to a set of higher tax rates.

Guam's economy is not faring any different.  With federal expenditures threatened by forces in Washington DC and local businesses hoping for an uptick with a number of projects coming on line including the Guam Museum and federal facility upgrades, it appears that the island's construction industry is moving forward as best as can be.  

Diversification is the latest buzzword on the job sites.  Patience is also being tested.  

To switch our island economic engine into a new gear is going to require increased strategic planning with the changing times locally and nationally and a realization that this could be the "new normal" for months and years to come.   

Non Profit Accident Report Advocates for Improved Safety Standards While Working at Height

According to preliminary results of an accident reporting project of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), there were 31 fatalities worldwide involving elevated work platforms in 2012. 

Founded in 1983, the non-profit organization representing the interests of manufacturers, distributors, users, rental and training companies found that last year [] the main causes of these fatalities were: fall from platform (9), electrocution (8), overturn (6), entrapment (4) and mechanical/technical related (4).   

“The first year of the accident reporting project is producing significant results and is allowing us to both improve our training programs and focus our safety campaigns to make this safe industry even safer,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “There are over 1.5 million [powered platforms/lifts] in use around the world, and while every death is a tragedy, powered access is still a very safe way to work at height.”

The data presented is based on accidents reported directly to IPAF and through information collated from various news media. The accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed, but where appropriate, action is taken to verify the facts and the data is amended should relevant information become available.

Data gathered enables IPAF to analyse and look for common trends, and propose possible actions to further improve and promote the safe use of access platforms worldwide. Data collected is kept confidential and used solely for the purposes of analysis and making recommendations to improve safety.

In the USA, the OSHA regulations regarding articulated boom lifts, classified as powered industrial trucks (OSHA Standard 1910.178(l)(4) spell out the safety the operators must observe when operating a articulating book lift. It is important to be familiar with these regulations for two reasons: failure to follow OSHA regulations can result in fines for your company, and the regulations are designed to help provide guidelines to keep the articulated boom lift operators safe.

Speak to your favorite aerial lift owner or dealer (like GET, LLC) for more details-don't forget to look on the document storage area of your aerial lift and the respective owner's manual for information on lift safety. 

Guam-A Different Perspective

The six lights off a lone light tower barely illuminate a corner of the multi-purpose Field in Talofofo.  Below the field lights, dozens of kids scurry about trying to find a stray soccer cone or a misplayed soccer ball. On the opposite side of the field, a handful of baseball players struggle to a take infield practice as the lack of light makes it hard to see the three inch in diameter ball roll across the diamond.  Village residents have been somewhat pleased by a new LED streetlight placed near the entrance to the area adjacent to Talofofo Elementary School, but the glow is just not enough for any of the area young people to enjoy meaningful sporting or recreational activity.  But this could soon change.

Today, the Governor of Guam signed off on the reprogramming of a 1993 General Obligation Bond of which the proceeds will be doled out to the University of Guam, the Mayors Council and importantly island taxpayers.

Media reports say that the refinancing will save GovGuam about $4.2 million dollars, of which $2.94 million of which will allow UOG to averting a tuition hike at least over the next two years. The remaining money will be split up between the Mayor's of Guam and the GovGuam tax reserve.

If you have been at UOG recently, the place is abuzz with local students intent on getting their college degrees.  With a changing island, these young people are taking the initiative and made the "natural choice" to study at the Western Pacific's premiere institutions of higher learning. Any assistance to help the students is key to keeping them in school and delaying an early jump into the very competitive workforce.
On the flip side, Guam tax payers expecting a refund will get it quicker than ever before .  The US District Court of Guam ruled recently that Gov Guam must pay such tax money within six months of filing.  Lady Justice may have overstepped her bounds to force a struggling government to pay an obligation that will come at a heavy price to all public services.  How this policy decision made from the bench effects how island leaders respond to the less than modern mandates driving their every move remains to be seen. Even more uncertain is how this will truly circulate much needed money in the economy.

The diamond in the Gov Guam financial rough will be the financing of capital projects across the 21 village municipalities.  For every dollar put into brick and mortar on Guam has equated to a new job and increased skill sets for our skilled workers.  With every village seeing tens of thousands of dollars each, it is pretty clear that the infusion  won't cure the ills found across every municipal structure from Yigo to Merizo.  But it is a start.

Mayors and Municipal Planning Councils have worked diligently to identify the priority projects in the their respective villages.  The activity will give folks some hope that we are turning the corner from an economic slump that has plagued much of the Western Pacific over the past three years.

Imagine all twelve light towers of the SPC/4 Richard Junior Degracia Naputi Field shining brightly across the night sky.  The picture of hundreds of baseball, soccer, football and rugby players displaying their athletic skills each day there would make residents of "God's Country" so very proud.  What won't be missed will be the vivid colors and sights and sounds of young people enjoying this important Southern Guam facility. All will be able to enjoy the field and be reminded of the good times that lie ahead for these island residents and all the people of Guam.  

But like the 1989 critically acclaimed film "Field of Dreams", the concept of 'Build it...And they will come' can almost certainly help drive island decision making for the best interests of our people whether it be a great boon or a great bust.

Independence LED Lighting Secures GSA Schedule

Very exciting news from our friends at Independence LED Lighting.  

As of February 1st, 2013 the Independence LED line of American Made LED products are included on the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule. This process involved more than a year of submission and review work. 

As an Authorized Distributor, we congratulate Chairman and CEO Charlie Szoradi and the entire team at Independence LED Lighting on this great news. GET, LLC is so very proud to be a part of this team. 

GSA Schedule Contracts, also known as Federal Supply Schedules, are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), long-term contracts under the General Services Administration's Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. GSA Schedule Contracts were developed to assist federal employees in purchasing products and services, and contain pre-negotiated prices, delivery terms, warranties, and other terms and conditions.

In addition to the Made in USA status, the Independence LED products are listed for Disaster Recovery Purchasing and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

Acquisitions through GSA Schedules are issued using full and open competition. Prices have already been deemed fair and reasonable, and Contracts are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, reducing evaluation cycles. Purchases can be made directly from a contractor's GSA Schedule Contract, eliminating time-consuming responses to complex RFP’s and lengthy negotiations. 

Plus, the GSA Schedule for the line of Independence LED products is through a Veteran Owned Small Business, Veteran First Energy.

For more information on this latest development, drop us a line or give us a call to discuss further.

US EPA Pushed on Color Rendering for LED Lighting

To ensure the long-term success and widespread market adoption of LED lamps, the lighting industry late last month asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program to address light quality, specifically color rendering (CRI), in its new lamp specification.  

EdisonReport says that a number of prominent North American lighting designers all filed formal comments to the EPA on their ENERGY STAR program product specification for LED lamps in support of higher color rendering criteria.

“Many consumers will make their first LED lamp purchases in the next few years, and the market is entering a critical window for making a positive impact on consumers’ first impressions of LED technology,” said Eric Kim, CEO of Soraa. “However, for LED lamps to achieve significant market share, consumers must be confident that these lamps can give them the light quality they need and want.”

McKinsey’s 2011 Lighting the Way report suggests that consumer and commercial lighting purchase decisions are driven as much by light quality, as they are by the cost of the light bulb. Twenty percent of the residential respondents in the McKinsey report rated light quality as the most important decision criterion for lamp installation – which is on par with the 22 percent who rated purchase price as the most important factor. 

“The slow market adoption of CFLs over the last 20 years demonstrates that simply because a product produces enough light, saves energy and is cost-effective, broad market adoption of that technology is not ensured," said Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer, Energy Efficiency Program Manager of NSTAR a Northeast Utilities Company. "To persuade consumers to purchase LEDs instead of incandescent lamps, LED lamps must be seen as high-quality products worth the initial higher price differential." 

In their latest draft lamp specification, the EPA reported that lack of LED lamp color quality is a potential barrier to broader consumer adoption of energy efficient lighting.  However, EPA went on to say that it will continue to monitor the market and explore opportunities for improving color quality and consistency of lamps in the future. 

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Important Facts about Women In Construction

GET, LLC is a proud member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).  We, along with hundreds of women-owned businesses across the country, are committed to the support a network that provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training and public service. 

This year NAWIC celebrates its 60 anniversary.  Locally, we give credit to Irene Hicks who has mentored our small business since our business established.  She along with many others across the 140 chapters have and continue to inspire more women to join the construction field. The membership has been of great use or service to GET, LLC. 

As the organization celebrates its sixth decade of existance, some figures to share:

•           Construction related jobs account for approximate 66% of all jobs in the U.S.
•           65% of construction companies employ fewer than 5 people
•           The work force is comprised of 90.4% men and 9.6% women as of 2006
•           Women-owned firms are on the rise
            o          20% growth realized from 1997 to 2002
            o          Firms without employees reflect a 64% growth rate
            o          Firms with employees have seen declines

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women comprise about 9 percent of the construction workforce today. To remain competitive, the industry must continually recruit and train women. Other issues such as pay equity and safety are addressed by NAWIC through committees and round-table discussions. NAWIC members are also personally committed to addressing women’s concerns. For more information on NAWIC, please contact us and we can direct you to our local chapter to discuss membership or other issues further.