Gov. Togiola Expresses Gratitude to US Department of Labor for NEG Supplement

Sunday, June 27, 2010
American Samoa Government

(UTULEI: Wednesday, June 27, 2012) ‒ Governor Togiola Tulafono today announced the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $500,000 National Emergency Grant supplement to continue re-employment and training services for workers who were hired on a temporary basis to help with cleanup and recovery efforts in the wake of the tsunami that struck American Samoa in September 2009.

Governor Togiola said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, in announcing the award, said the additional federal funding will enable American Samoa to continue providing training and re-employment services to the workers who assisted with the cleanup and recovery efforts after the worst disaster in American Samoa history. The services provided through this grant will help hardworking individuals find permanent employment.

“I wish to express our sincere gratitude to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Assistant Secretary Jane Oates and the department for this much-needed boost in funds to assist in our employment and training services efforts,” said Governor Togiola. “As we continue in our employment recovery efforts from the earthquake and tsunami, we are very thankful for this additional funding; it is critical resources to help us out as it will help our people stay prepare in getting jobs. The disaster made a major impact on our families and our workforce and we thank the U.S. Department of Labor for the NEG because it was designed for the kinds of emergency and situation that we have experienced. I would also like to thank our Director of Human Resources – Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford and her staff for administering program and for all the hardwork that went into securing these funds to continue the training of our program participants.”

The Labor Department approved a grant of up to $24,857,608 to the American Samoa Department of Human Resources on October 19, 2009, with $8,285,870 released initially, to fund temporary jobs for individuals to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts. On April 21, 2010, incremental funding of $16,571,738 from the same grant was awarded to continue funding the temporary jobs as well as to provide workforce development services to the workers to help them transition to unsubsidized employment once the cleanup jobs ended. The jobs have now ended. Today’s supplemental funding to continue services brings the total funds awarded to date to $25,357,608.