6 Aug 2009

Assistance sought for cannery workers in American Samoa

11:46 am on 6 August 2009

With less than two months before the tuna cannery, Samoa Packing, closes, the Department of Human Resources is still working on a grant application for training assistance for cannery employees from the US Department of Labor.

In June, the department surveyed Samoa Packing employees to gather information for the application.

The department's director, Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford, says based on information provided by the company, 940 cannery employees were targeted.

556 employees completed the survey forms and 384 were to be collected by Samoa Packing and turned into Human Resources.

The survey assessed the education level, skills, types of assistance needed and preferences of the employees for times they could attend workshops.

Human Resources is working with the department of Commerce to compile the information for an application for a national Emergency Grant to be submitted to the US Department of Labor.

The local government is asking the US Department of Labor for financial assistance to develop effective and relevant training and support services or programs that will accommodate the needs of those employees that are and will be impacted by the closure of COS and layoffs from Star Kist.

The director said they intend to submit the application as soon as they are able to compile accurate information and data that can be verified by various sources.