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ASG workers urged to take advantage of ASCC courses

ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Pato
President Pato says gov’t policy allows employees to take classes

To further improve ASG workers’ skills and qualifications, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has encouraged cabinet members to take advantage of courses offered by the American Samoa Community College, which is competing with courses offered online and being taken up by many government workers.

 “It’s in our policy that we encourage directors to send their people to the College. We’re doing that in our office,” said Lolo, who added that his staff members — as part of their regular workday — take two or three hours of courses at ASCC and then return to work.

“So take advantage of this opportunity, so we can upgrade the qualifications and the quality of our ASG employees,” the governor said at last week’s cabinet meeting following an update on college activities by ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Pato.

According to Pato, the ASCC, whose winter graduation is set for Dec. 15th at the college gymnasium, is “in the process of offering skill credits" and she encourages government agencies to provide to her or discuss with her, “what you want your staff to have” as far as “skill-sets”.

“One of the ways we have been surviving is through our tuition,” she continued, adding that “there is a government policy that says staff can be allowed to take a courses at the college and I’m encouraging the cabinet to please take advantage of that.”

Pato explained that ASCC is looking at "sort of a mini course, which is a one-credit course specifically on ‘skill-sets’," rather than three-credit courses throughout the semester.

“I have talked to several directors already about the different types of skills they would like to see, that they would like to take advantage of, by sending their staff to the College to take these skills-set courses,” she noted.

“Some of the things that I have been asked to look at, are training or courses in ethics, basic finance, leadership and lab techs,” she said.

“There were a few questions about what we’re doing with some of the trades, skills set for the trades,” she said. “If you need it, please come and talk to us, because we’re trying to find different ways to offer these courses with credit for our government employees, as well as our community. We have a College here but very few of our government employees are taking advantage of the college courses.”

Pato said she knows ASG employees “are looking at online courses, which is our challenge, our competition. But if we could work together, we can offer the things that you need, but I need to hear what your needs are so we can make it happen. “

According to Pato, the College is hoping to have these things squared away by the summer of next year. She said she's already working closely with the local Education Department, which has opened up another cohort program at ASCC in early childhood education, and this will occur in the spring.

Some senior ASG officials said utilizing ASCC by government employees for training courses and skills upgrade, “means additional money for the College, through tuition.”