The Apprentice/Workforce Development (AWD) program, now offered for the seventh continuous year by the Trades & Technical Department (TTD) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC), gives the Territory’s trade practitioners the opportunity to upgrade their skills and credentials through courses held in the evening. The program recently made a significant stride in enabling its participants to gain their license from the ASG Tradesmen Board. The American Samoa Code Annotated Title 31, Chapter 07: Tradesmen requires that all persons practicing a trade must have a Tradesman License.
Earlier this year, the AWD proposed to the ASG Tradesmen Board that it consider adopting a new policy whereby it will issue a Tradesmen License to individuals who receive their Certificate of Completion (CoC) from the AWD program in lieu of them taking the Board’s own required exam. The AWD recently received a letter from the ASG Contractors License Board of Examinations, under the Office of the Governor, granting full support of the AWD’s proposal. According to the letter, the Board will from now on require license candidates to take one or more courses in their respective field with the AWD program and receive a CoC in order for the Board to issue them a Tradesmen License. Being as different types of Tradesmen Licenses will have different requirements, for example a certain number of years of experience, the AWD will ensure that all necessary conditions are met.
In his letter to the ASG Tradesmen Board, ASCC Trades & Technical Department Program Director Mr. Fred Suisala outlined the areas in which the AWD program offers instruction. These include Architectural Drafting, Automotive, Carpentry, Computer Repair, Diesel, Electrical, Land Surveying, Networking and Welding. The program typically serves non-traditional students during the evening for two 10-week sessions per year in the summer and fall. Many of the participants already have with proven experience in their respective areas, but need to earn or upgrade their official certification and/or ASG-issued licenses.
Suisala received a reply from Aumavae Kenape L. Aumavae, Office Manager of the Contractors and License Board, expressing that the Board concurred with the AWD proposal and would henceforth refer all tradespersons seeking licenses to the AWD. “Thank you for the initiative program to benefit our people who prefer handiwork,” wrote Aumavae, “especially those who are not entitled to any financial assistance. Keep up the good work for our people.”
This new agreement between the Contractors and License Board and the AWD program will streamline the process by which the Territory’s tradespersons can practice their professions backed by government-issued credentials. “The Board has its standards to follow when determining whether an applicant should be granted a license,” explained Suisala. “Our instruction in the AWD program reflects those same standards, and we will maintain a working relationship with the Board to ensure this remains the case. This is a significant step forward for our local tradespersons, who will now only need to take an exam from us rather than duplicate the process with the Board.”
For more information on the AWD program, Suisala can be reached through the ASCC main exchange at 699-9155. Details on the AWD and other opportunities at ASCC can be found in the College’s catalog, available online at www.amsamoa.edu