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ASCC-TTD awards apprenticeship certificates

Forty one of  the local trades persons enrolled in this semester’s Apprenticeship Program offered by the Trades & Technology Division (TTD) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) received their Certificates of Completion for this semester’s Apprenticeship classes during a ceremony held this past Wednesday.


“The apprenticeship program went smoothly as anticipated, with about 76% retention,” said ASCC Apprenticeship Coordinator Fred Suisala, describing the first eight-week Apprenticeship semester since the re-launching of the Apprenticeship Program in early October.


The ASCC Apprenticeship Program offers training for current workers to achieve enhanced and updated skills through structured, on-the-job learning experiences combined with related classroom instruction.


The program in full entails about 144 hours of classroom instruction and 2000 hours of on-the-job training per year, although the exact time sequence will differ with respective trades or industry fields. Following a meeting between Suisala and the US Department of Labor (USDOL) earlier this year, the ASCC Apprenticeship Program is recognized and registered under the USDOL and thus recognized nationwide. Classes are open to both apprentices and non-traditional students currently employed in apprentice professions. Tuition for each apprentice is the responsibility of his/her Program Sponsor or employer as per the USDOL Standards of Apprenticeship.


The TTD previously offered an Apprenticeship Program free of charge as part of the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act (ARRA), with the hopes that the results would encourage the local public and private sectors to assume primary support of local Apprenticeship beyond the period covered by ARRA funding. This initial experience laid the groundwork for the re-launching of the program this year, with both government and private agencies sponsoring individuals and groups of trades people in the areas of Welding, Electrical, Carpentry and Automotive. Community participants in this semester’s Apprenticeship Program included the Department of Youth &Women Affairs, Public Works, the Development Bank, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Pacific Sales and Marketing, all of whom have enrolled workers in the TTD evening classes.


According to Suisala, feedback from the Apprenticeship students has been largely positive, with a majority reporting an increase in their skills, knowledge and abilities via their course evaluations, as well as intentions to enroll again in future Apprenticeship classes. To accommodate the trades persons’ work schedules, Apprenticeship classes take place in the early evenings for a duration of eight weeks, allowing for four Apprenticeship “semesters” within a calendar year. Suisala said the next Apprenticeship semester will commence tentatively on February 10th and run to April 3rd. In addition to the four existing areas of Apprenticeship instruction, the TTD hopes to add Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and AutoCAD next semester.


At Wednesday’s ceremony, Certificates of Completion of the Welding Fundamentals & Metallurgy (Welding 800) Class went to Sonny Sefulu High-Lord, Atapana Pute Faumuina, Tagilima Sefo Jr., Jesse Aumua, Terrance Lam Yuen, Elisaia Ioane, Susuga Yoshinory Taylor, Sosene Famuina, Ralph A. Dollar, Timoteo Siliva Levasa, Tuai V. Tuilagi, Jullion Efi Sua, Seti Lito, Tommy Correia, Penita Chong Nee, Garfield Himphill, Jonathan Faleafaga, Tommi Sio Jones, and Malologa Talai.


For completing the class Basic Electrical Theory (ETP 800), Simon Tuese, Sialei Tuitasi, Pio Kisena, Misiona Tasi, Rocco Tinitali, Antonio Cornejo, Faasega Gisa, Mosese Lavaka, Tau Thompson, and Seini P. Mauga received their Certificates.


Apprentices completing the class Plans, Building Codes & Specifications (CON 800) were Fanuatanu S. Mamea, Manuele Sala’ivao, Suianapogi Loto, and Rhoderick Tarray.


The class Introduction to Automotive Technology (AST 800) was completed by Ricky Atonio, Uilisone Tuese, Teuila Pule, Musu Henry Faleafine, Aukuso Aneti, Taase Matafua, Daniel Ropati, and Derek Isaako.


For more information on the Apprenticeship Program, contact Fred Suisala at 699-9155, ext. 353.