8 Apr 2009

US funding boosts American Samoan apprenticeships

2:40 pm on 8 April 2009

The Dean of the Institute of Trades and Technology at the American Samoa Community College, Leusoga Bill Emmsley, says stimulus funding provided by the US Department of Labor for workforce training will help the college implement an apprenticeship program with US certification.

The college has identified that traditional trades, such as automotive, welding, carpentry, electrical and plumbing, have the most need for skilled workers.

Leusoga attended a Department of Labor workshop for the US Pacific territories that discussed stimulus funding for apprenticeship programmes.

He sees President Barack Obama's plan for training the workforce as an opportunity to reduce the lack of local skilled workers .

"The key issue here for an apprenticeship training programme at the end of the training is that the students, who are the candidates, will be able to be certified under their respective trades by the US Department of Labour which carries a national significance. ITT under the American Samoa Community College has done a lot of work, a lot of footwork towards that aim."