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Local One Stop Job fair attracts close to 400

The third job fair hosted by Pacific Resources Inc. a local company and its partner Native Hawaiian Holding Company (NHHC) held a highly successful job fair last Saturday at the One Stop Career and Training Center (OSCTC), says the NHHC local project Manager Michael McDonald.

The fair was advertised as open to all job seekers — not just NEG participants.

McDonald said nearly 400 people showed up to the job fair and they took in approximately 300 job seekers, most of which were not National Emergency Grant (NEG) participants.

He said the goal of this job fair was to intake the remainder of the NEG participants who did not show up at the last two job fairs. There were about 100 names, McDonald said, left from the NEG program.

The NHHC manager said it’s their obligation to make sure that all 900 NEG participants are the first to receive an overview of the job programs that are available because of their contract with the government’s Department of Human Resources.

McDonald said they also opened up this job fair to the public, via pre-registration, and approximately 230 non-NEG participant’s pre-registered for the event.

“The additional public walk-ins we saw is an indication of the desire of our workforce to 'get to work', and it is also an illustration of just how badly we need to continue to focus on job creation here in American Samoa” he said.

So far the NHHC has been able to place 120 NEG participants with full time employment with the private sector, McDonald said. “A lot of them attained maintenance, basic labor and administrative jobs with the private sector.”

He explained that with the job fair over the weekend they informed those who walked in and pre-registered that the job opportunities will be firstly for the NEG participants.

The Procurement Office approved two months ago the sole sourcing of a $4.7 million contract to the (NHHC).

According to the governor’s office, the project is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Emergency Grant (NEG) and administered by the local Department of Human Resources.

The NHHC is to provide training and employment in the contact center industry for 900 NEG participants and is to operate job placement and supportive services in a setting that will serve as part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Workforce System. 

The One Stop Career and Training Center is located at the former American Samoa Veterans Association club house in Tafuna and Gov. Togiola Tulafono says funds for the NHHC contract are being used solely for the program, and not for capital improvements to the facility.