Community Briefs

DYWA AND SSA OFFERING FREE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM FOR LOCALS

 

The Department of Youth and Women's Affairs (DYWA) has partnered up with the Shipyard Services Authority (SSA) to host an Apprenticeship Program — free of charge — for interested locals between 18 and 25 years old.

 

The six-month program will begin September 3 and will include eight hours of theoretical training per week, and 32 hours per week of practical training.

 

The program aims to teach technical skills, as well as offer theoretical and practical training in welding, mechanics, machining, and spray painting. Apprenticeship programs for carpentry, plumbing and the field of electrics will be introduced at a later date.

 

Application forms are available at the DYWA and SSA offices. The deadline to apply is August 23.

 

SSA Board Chairman David Robinson told the Samoa News over a telephone interview last Friday morning that the goal of the program is to provide training for local youth so they can gain some trade experience. He said they have set up an initial scheme of a six-month time frame and at the end of that time period, they will assess the individuals who have completed the program and offer them some type of ongoing training for proper apprenticeship.

 

Robinson, who is also heads the local Chamber of Commerce, said there is always the possibility that those who successfully complete the program will end up working at the shipyard. "We are always looking for skilled tradesmen and they are very hard to find," he said. "That is why we want to offer our young people a training program that will contribute to them having a future or career."

 

DYWA Acting Director Pa'u Taito Roy Ausage told the Samoa News last week that the primary focus of the program is to afford the opportunity to the many young people who are very good with their hands but do not possess the academic ability to pursue higher education.

 

"This program will help these individuals achieve their goals in life," Pa'u said. He added that one of their  objectives is to help boost self esteem amongst the participants "because in our society, it's usually the cream of the crop that we praise, like those who come from off island with college degrees." Pa'u said those who complete the program will fill the need of the private sector, as well as government, in 'hard to fill' vocational and trade types of professions — positions that are usually filled by people from Samoa.

 

"Once these people complete the required courses, they will be on track to earning a living which in turn will help their families and their livelihood," Pa'u said. He explained that he hasn't had a chance to look over all the submitted applications but he did notice that some of the young people who have applied come from very low social economic conditions. "Obviously, when these people become a part of this program, it will change their outlook on life, as there will be something for them to fall back on, as far as a skill that can take them places and provide them with financial help."

 

Pa'u said the four pilot programs will be held at the shipyard in Satala and he appreciates the SSA board members' and the governor's support of the program by allowing them to use the facilities.

 

More information on the program can be obtained by contacting Pa'u Roy Taito Ausage at 633-2835 or David Robinson at 633-4122.

 

ASEPA CALLS ON PUBLIC TO “ADOPT A STREAM OR ROADSIDE AREA”

 

Individuals, families, businesses and other community organizations who want to play a role in beautifying the island, protecting the coral reefs, and keeping the environment clean are invited to “Adopt a Stream or Roadside” for the duration of the year.

 

The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) is spearheading the efforts which solicit the public’s assistance in helping to keep major roadside areas and streams trash free.

 

The targeted roadside areas include the 3-Youngs Service Station in Leloaloa to Aua village, the airport road, the area from the Laufou Shopping Center to the Nu’uuli intersection, the area from Cost U Less to KS Mart, and the stretch from KS Mart to the Ili’ili Golf Course.

 

The five selected streams are located in Aua, Pago Pago, Fagatogo, Utulei, and Faga’alu. The focus is on the streams around the bay area, where there is an abundance of trash. The goal of the program is to lessen or completely eliminate all the trash in these areas, by encouraging people to pick up after themselves and discourage senseless littering habits.

 

AS-EPA will help out by providing trash bags and gloves for all the participants. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase public awareness of the environmental impacts caused by littering.

 

Designated areas will be marked with “recognition signs” naming the group, family or business responsible for adopting those particular roadside areas or streams.

 

The AS-EPA is hopeful that this pilot program is a successful one. 

 

Those interested in adopting a stream or roadside can register by contacting the ASEPA office directly at 633-2304.

 

DRUNK DRIVING ENFORCEMENT CRACKDOWN KICKS OFF LATER THIS MONTH

 

If you're thinking of partying and drinking, make sure you designate someone to drive you around. Otherwise, you will either get yourself killed, put someone else's life in jeopardy, or earn yourself a free stay at the Tafuna Correctional Facility.

 

Later this month on August 16, the local Department of Public Safety will assign police officers to carry out road blocks at different sites across the territory to weed out drunk drivers and get them off the road.

 

Director of the DPS Office of Highway Safety Fred Scanlan told the Samoa News that the locations of the road blocks are yet to be determined, but they are part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Drunk Driving National Enforcement Crackdown.

 

According to Scanlan, the enforcement will target drunk drivers but it will not stop police officers from issuing tickets for other violations including the use of seat belts, busted headlights, expired tags, etc.

 

Under their budget, OHS is mandated by the federal government to pay overtime for the cops who are carrying out the roadblocks. Scanlan's office also keeps track of data and statistics compiled during these roadblocks and enforcement activities.

 

Scanlan happily reported that there hasn't been a single fatality involving alcohol-related car accidents since 2011, since aggressive campaigns including paid media advertising and outreach programs for different youth groups and churches have been in place.

 

Prior to that, there were four fatal alcohol-related car accidents and one pedestrian death in 2010. "With the increased number of enforcement programs and the push to get the word out, we have had no alcohol related deaths and that shows us that we are doing our job as far as reaching out to everyone and getting the message across," Scanlan said.

 

Drunk driving is one of the most often committed and deadliest crimes in the United States. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa have established a threshold making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

 

The OHS Director says enforcement efforts can keep the number of impaired drivers on the road at a low rate, and this will ultimately save lives.

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