ACE Makes Major Donation to ASCC Apprenticeship & Workforce Development Program
March 4, 2014
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
The Apprenticeship & Workforce Development Program (AWD) under the aegis of the Trades & Technology Division (TTD) at the American Samoa Community College recently received a major boost in the form of a very substantial donation of construction supplies from ACE American Industries. AWD Coordinator Fred Suisala estimates the value of the donated materials to be more than $3,000.00.
The donated items include finishing materials such as special floor paints, deck restorer kits, construction glues, wood primers, liquid granites, drywall liquid nails, restorer concrete kits, blend sticks, roof cements, stain oil, spray-paint gloss, Corner and assorted vinyl tiles and moldings. “These miscellaneous items will be used mostly in the AWD Construction Program for identification of chemicals and compounds in paints, glues, and primers,” said Suisala. “These items will also be utilized in demonstrations as well as to promote the availability of new products and the correct applications.”
ACE American Industries is a longstanding private sector supporter of the AWD, and currently sponsors seven participants, three in Electrical and four in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration classes. The AWD offers after-hours classes in the major trade disciplines for both “apprentices” sponsored by private businesses or public sector organizations as well as un-sponsored individuals taking the initiative to upgrade their trade skills. Recognized by the US Department of Labor, the AWD holds its courses during intensive eight-week ‘semesters” several times a year, allowing apprentices and private individuals to move through their classroom and on-the-job training at an accelerated pace.
Suisala emphasized how community support from both the public and private sectors, whether it be in the form of sponsoring apprentices or making donations like the one from ACE, is crucial to the success of the AWD. “The community’s involvement is crucial in sustaining the AWD training.” he reflected. “TTD has taken the initiative to provide training to upgrade skill sets so that workers may become highly proficient and earn certification in their areas, which in turn will lessen our dependency on foreign skilled craftsmen. Therefore, the support from the community in taking advantage of the AWD training serves as a ‘yardstick’ to measure the success of the program and its continuity, which in turn plays a critical role in stirring the local economy. “
For their roles in arranging the donation to the AWD, Suisala credits ACE Store Manager Damien Mackenzie, local ACE CEO Ms. Ngaire Ho Ching and, ACE Operations Manager Ms. Nadine Solofa-Taufaasau. Suisala said the AWD welcomes donations of useable materials, but due to federal regulations the program needs to exercise discretion over what it can accept. “We always have a need for tools and components used in the trade fields in good working condition,” he explained. “Currently we have Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, AutoCAD, Automotive, Electrical and Welding. Although we accept donations of tools, parts and assemblies used in these areas, it should be discussed with us first to determine if the materials fall within our guidelines.”
The AWD coordinator also wishes to remind potential apprentices and other interested trades people that registration for the program’s next eight-week semester will take place from April 29th to May 2nd. The first day of instruction will be May 5th. For more information on the AWD, call 699-9155 and ask for Fred Suisala.