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VA Clubhouse future site of training center

A new career and training center project by the Department of Human Resources is expected to be launched next month with support and funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.

One of Gov. Togiola Tulafono’s goals is to get a program implemented in the territory which is similar to job, career and training center programs located in other states and territories.

A bill board sign, which was erected about a week ago on the old VA club house compound next to the Office of Motor Vehicles, states that this is the “future site of the American Samoa Career One Stop Center” (ASCOSC).

Responding to Samoa News inquiries, DHR director Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford could only confirm last Friday afternoon that this project, which includes a training center, “is a new project scheduled to commence next month.”

She says an official news release on the project should be coming out soon from the Governor’s Office.

Gov. Togiola Tulafono announced on his radio program early this year that the VA club house would be used as a training center funded with federal money allocated for the call center training facility project. He reiterated this statement on his program this past weekend.

(The call center training facility is not going anywhere after two companies awarded the joint contract pulled out, due mainly to the matching funds the contractor(s) is required to provide.)

Money that American Samoa received from the NEG program, under the U.S. Department of Labor following the September 2009 earthquake and tsunami to provide temporary jobs for local residents, is funding the ASCOSC project.

Services to be provided under this project include veterans job resources and veterans re-employment, direct job placement, job skills assessment, career resources, educational opportunities, classroom training, on-the-job training, job search and military job transition, according to the billboard sign on the compound.

The building on the compound still has a sign on the top that says “American Samoa Veterans Association... The Power in Unity”. It’s understood that the association is still using the facility for their meetings, which are usually held in the evenings.

The Trial Division of the High Court ruled last August that the lease agreement between the association and ASG for the less than half an acre lot expired in 2007 and ASVA is a holdover tenant.

The court also said that “ASG is entitled to a writ of restitution restoring the premises in dispute unto itself.” The governor, in April last year, sent a letter to the ASVA to vacate the premises resulting in the suit challenging the eviction from the property, which is leased at $1 a year.

The court later denied a request by the association to stay the writ of restitution and the ASVA has since petitioned the appellate division of the High court for an order to stay the writ and the lower court’s decision to remove them from the property.