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Hawaiian Air offers airfare incentive to trade tech students

Hawaiian Airlines logo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Once a year for the better part of thirty years, Tony Tagal and his son Jason have made a trip to American Samoa in order to offer our youth something very special: a career path which students may not have otherwise envisioned for themselves.

Each year at this time, the father and son team have come, sometimes solo — but often together — as the Pacific representatives of Universal Technical Institute (UTI) based in Arizona. As they have done in the past, one of them will be here this week to speak to interested students and their families.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI) is billed as the “leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians.”

This year, there will be an added incentive to accompany this career choice. Along with the scholarships and financing available to students through UTI,  Hawaiian Airlines has graciously donated 5 one-way flights to five students who will be traveling to the states for their training.

The 5 donated flights will be used from Pago Pago to Phoenix, Arizona and will be available to students based on both merit and need.

UTI representative Jason Tagal will be in Pago Pago from Tuesday, 10/8   through Monday, 10/14 to explain what UTI has to offer. During the weekdays, he will make presentations at each of the territory’s high schools, and in the evening and weekend hours, he will meet with interested students and their families at the Tradewinds Hotel.

Once enrollment agreements have been signed by the students and their families, those students will then be able to go to <> and that’s where they will be able to apply for one of the five free Hawaiian Air flights from Pago Pago to Phoenix.                

 Future students will need to follow all of the directions and fulfill the requirements at <> which is a 501(c)3 non-profit scholarship organization that works with UTI to provide scholarships for eligible students.                

 According to the Techforce Foundation website, “Recently, our industry has stepped-up with a number of initiatives to inform the general public about the value and connection between STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and future automotive career opportunities. The efforts have featured a multi-level approach, from educating students and parents about future workforce needs and benefits, to informing the STEM community about the wide variety of necessary backgrounds and opportunities, to raising awareness and involvement within our own industry.”              

Students must be recent American Samoa high school graduates in order to apply for technical training courses in Automotive/ Diesel/ Industrial and Welding, according to Tagal. The full roster of UTI courses includes Automotive/ Diesel/Industrial/ Power Generation/ Welding/ CNC Machining/ Hydraulics/ Transport Refrigeration/ Motorcycle/ Marine/ Collision Repair and NASCAR work.                

The proposed training start date for the 5 winners will be June 29, 2020 for the Avondale, Arizona campus. UTI has 11 campuses across the country, including Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.               

Tagal told Samoa News, “The generosity of Hawaiian Airlines will change the lives of 5 aspiring young American Samoans by giving them the opportunity to gain a valuable technical trade. The end result is a long-term, financially stable, technical career.”                

He said UTI is very grateful for this partnership with Hawaiian Airlines and the Techforce Foundation.

Samoa News will run Tagal’s schedule of high school visits this week. He can be reached at (808) 342-2037 or <>