American Samoa Government Labor Pool Study

Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Pacific Business Center Program, Univeristy of Hawaii at Manoa (Papalii Dr. Avagalio Failautusi, Dr. Bob Doktor, Dr. Luafataalii Sa'iliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor, Dr. Luciano Minerbi, Salilo Julia Foifua, Taualai Fonoto, Renata Matcheva, Nicloe Saito, Tuamas

Excerpt from study:

Economic stability and private sector development are constant challenges of US Pacific Territories. The causes are many yet the solutions are compelling requiring vision, leadership, and courage rooted in the synergy of data, modern knowledge, and traditional wisdom. The American Samoa Labor Study is designed to incorporate a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the available labor pool in American and Independent Samoa. The study is the result of a sequence of events that started with an expanded focus on self sufficiency in the Territories through greater economic and private sector development led by the Office of Insular Affairs of the US Department of the Interior.

Following the Fourth Annual Business Opportunities Conference in Hawaii to attract US Industry and Businesses to the US Territories inaugurated in 2004 at Washington DC, several US businesses in the knowledge industry (call centers for example) indicated interest in the Pacific Territories. While looking at investment opportunities in the Pacific, qualified labor availability concerns relevant to any US industry or business were raised. In American Samoa where an information or knowledge-based industry appeared viable to US investors, a salient concern focused on the availability of the quantity and quality of a labor supply to support such an industry in the Territory.

Governor Togiola of American Samoa seeking alternative opportunities to diversify and attract business and investments in American Samoa by US investors, supported such business interests and facilitated visitations and meetings by potential investors to American Samoa. The Governor, understanding the infrastructural support needs for a knowledge industry in American Samoa, initiated technical assistance support from the University of Hawaii, supported by OIA technical assistance funding, for a study on the availability of a qualified labor force.

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