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Bluesky & Army PaYS program

US Army Capt. Kurk Cruz Diaz, the Guam Recruitment Company Commander, with Bluesky official Sherry Sele, cutting the cake yesterday as part of the signing ceremony for the Army Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program with Bluesky Communications.  [photo: FS]
First in the Asia and Pacific Region

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The US Army and Bluesky Communications yesterday signed a memorandum of agreement for the Army Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program, which is the first in the Asia and Pacific Region.

The program is designed to help soldiers prepare for a career after the Army by connecting them with employers, who understand the skills, discipline, and work ethic, which military service members can bring to a business, according to the US Army.

During yesterday’s brief signing ceremony at the US Army Reserve Center in Tafuna, US Army Capt. Kurk Cruz Diaz, who is the Guam Recruitment Company Commander said, “this is a great day” noting that “this is the first PaYS partnership for the Asia/Pacific community.”

And this is a great partnership not only for the US Army and Bluesky “but also for our future men and women who will bask in the many opportunities that the PaYS partnership has to offer.”

He explained, “Our partnership will connect first time soldiers with Bluesky Communications by providing guaranteed jobs and possible employment,” adding that the benefits for Bluesky under this program is the “pool of high skilled, motivated and responsible candidates that may be available to fill the organization.”

He said this partnership through the PaYS program is a “win-win opportunity for everyone involved.”

Bluesky customer service and public relations manager Sherry Sele spoke on behalf of the company including country manager Raj Deo, who was present, along with several Bluesky employees.

“This is another milestone for Bluesky,” Sele said, adding that it’s an honor for her to witness this “special occasion in recognizing the partnership” between Bluesky and Army PaYS.

She gave special acknowledgement to the local US Army recruiting office and Bluesky human resources manager Lisa Gebauer for introducing and implementing the program for Bluesky.

She also gave special thanks to Army Sgt. Ira Uiagalelei for the initial introductory meeting and ongoing encouragement to Bluesky to join the program. Since Uiagalelei has departed the territory, Gebauer continued working with other Army officials to move the program forward to fruition.

“At Bluesky, which employs about 100 people, we’re always looking for the best and the brightest to fill some of our hard to fill positions, primarily within our technology division,” Sele said, adding that with a partnership such as this one, “we will be able to broaden our recruitment avenues.”

With the Army PaYS program, “Bluesky will be able to consider some of our own sons and daughters of American Samoa who have joined the Army for positions within our company,” she said.

Sele noted that some Bluesky employees present at the ceremony, have been part of the Army themselves, or have spouses, children, siblings and relatives who are in the Army or were in the Army.

Therefore, “this too is an important event for them as it resembles our company commitment back to the community of American Samoa,” she explained.

“In American Samoa, many of our youth seek future career and academic opportunities through the military and it’s always been a priority of Bluesky to also invest in the development of American Samoa youth,” she said. “Therefore, it’s indeed a very great program.”

Sele concluded, “We are proud to have a partnership with Army PaYS and we look forward to meeting qualified Army personnel who are interested in career opportunities with Bluesky and look forward to developing our partnership with Army PaYS.”

Bluesky country manager Deo joined Diaz in signing the partnership agreement and Deo was presented the Guam Recruiting Company coin on behalf of the US Army.

Diaz said the Army has “gained a valuable industry partner,” and “I guarantee, you will have skilled employees in the local community. This is a great opportunity for the youth of [American] Samoa as well as Americans across the nation."

Bluesky provided a cake to mark the special partnership. Yesterday’s master of ceremonies was Army SFC Shaun Salanoa.

According to the US Army, the PaYS Program is a strategic partnership between the Army and a cross section of private industry, academia and federal, state and local public institutes. It guarantees soldiers a job interview and possible employment after their service in the Army.

The PaYS Program is part of a long-term U.S. Army effort to help soldiers forge professional relationships with businesses and encourage business owners to look to the Army as a plentiful and reliable recruiting source.

Since PaYS began in 2000, more than 620 employers have partnered with the program.