15 May 2009

American Samoa Congressman looks to help soon to be unemployed workers

5:31 pm on 15 May 2009

American Samoa's US Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, is seeking assistance from the US Department of Labor to help local workers who will be without jobs when the Samoa Packing tuna cannery closes.

The Congressman says training funds could be used to help unqualified workers earn their General Education Diplomas', or to pay for college tuition for vocation training.

The Department of Labor also has national emergency grant funds which can provide workers with a stipend allowance for basic necessities like food and housing.

Congressman Faleomavaega said while these stipends will not replace regular wages, they will help dislocated workers feed their families for a limited amount of time while they retrain.

There is no unemployment assistance in the territory and the Congressman is seeking ways to extend federal unemployment benefits to American Samoa.