Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Robert Donmoyer, PhD, Chair; Fred McFarlane, PhD, Member; Kenneth Galea’i, PhD, Member


history, Leadership studies, nation building, Palau, public administration, workforce development


After being a ward of many nations for over 250 years, the Republic of Palau gained its independence on October 1, 1994. One of the many challenges facing this young nation is the workforce preparation of its people to engage in nation building. After many years of being subjugated by foreign governments, the people have developed a taste of material consumerism. This has driven people away from their subsistence way of life in favor of a market driven economy which calls for infrastructure development that cannot be accomplished if there is a nonexistent skilled workforce to undertake this challenge. To better understand the workforce context in Palau, this study examines the history of workforce development from pre-contact and continuing under four administering governments (Spain, Germany, Japan, and the United States) until Palau's declaration of independence in 1994. The primary method of inquiry is a historical review of existing documents. A supplementary method was studying transcribed interviews of other elders for the purpose of triangulating written historical records. The study specifically sought to answer the following questions: 1. What workforce development policies existed under each administering government? 2. Were there differences in the way these policies were developed across these administering governments? 3. Were goals and objectives clear and evident and was there an established way to determine whether goals were met? 4. How did workforce policies fit with the overall orientation of the governing group during a particular era? The benefits of this historical study include the following: 1. It will enable Palauan leaders to have a historical context from which to propose and enact legislation and policies that are not only meaningful, but will bring rewards to the nation in terms of self-sufficiency. 2. It will add new dimensions and an indigenous perspective to the field of workforce development and vocational education in a particularly small and geographically isolated island community.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access