Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bank Of Guam Economist Urges: Post-Buildup Is Critical

Bank Of Guam Economist Urges: Post-Buildup Is Critical

Written by Jeff Marchesseault, Guam News Factor Staff Writer
Thursday, 17 December 2009 16:10

GUAM – Noted Bank of Guam Economist Joe Bradley says the more attention we give to the post-buildup, the better shape we'll be in afterwards.

Otherwise, the military expansion could shape into a classic case of boom and bust. He predicts a recession on island by 2016 if the investment community doesn't do something fast to diversify the economy, so it doesn't fall apart when tens of thousands of buildup-era workers leave Guam.

Drawing a deep breath, Bradley called it like he saw it today. "The boom scares me to death and the bust scares me to death. It's going to be huge on both sides of the coin," he said at a meeting of business leaders hosted by the Guam Economic Development Authority at the ITC building in Tamuning today.

The economist spoke before the Civilian Military Task Force's Economic Development Subcommittee at GEDA's conference room. It's the first CMTF subcommittee to address the Department of Defense's Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the $15 billion buildup scheduled to take place on Guam between 2010 and 2014.

Bradley says Guam's economy is over-dependent on construction cycles, and Guam workers deserve training. Training to help displace the two-thirds of buildup jobs that will otherwise go to imported workers. Training in the skill sets that will sustain a burgeoning private sector when the buildup era ends.

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