Amata Announces $300 Thousand in Interior Grants for Local Power Utilities
Washington, DC –Thursday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata, was pleased to announce the awarding of $380,447 in maintenance assistance funding from the Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs. The funding will be used for three initiatives to improve power utilities and provide technical training and education in the Pacific Insular region including American Samoa.
“Building up our island’s infrastructure is a top priority in order to improve our quality of life here in American Samoa,” stated Amata. “Human resources is a critical part of maintaining and improving our local infrastructure, and these funds will help to ensure that we have enough well trained technicians and engineers to keep everything running smoothly,” continued Amata.
According to DOI’s statement the projects funded by this grant are:
Pacific Linemen Training Program - $224,000 is for the Yap State Public Service Corporation to provide 28 weeks of advanced professional certification training to 80 power linemen, from American Samoa, Guam, Majuro, Palau, Pohnpei and Yap. Training this year will be especially critical for American Samoa, Palau and Pohnpei who are experiencing severe shortages of qualified power linemen due to attrition and retirement.
Pacific Power Association - $36,447 to fund the participation of 10 technical engineers from power utilities in the Pacific region at the 26th Annual Conference of the Pacific Power Association to discuss regional benchmarking, renewable energy resource mapping and integration, and disaster risk reduction initiatives. Participants to the conference will come from American Samoa, Guam, Yap, Kwajalein, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Majuro, Saipan, and Palau and will match dollar for dollar the cost of their participation.
Professional Training and Apprenticeship Program - $120,000 is provided to the American Samoa Power Authority to build and develop local engineers and technical personnel critical to the operations and continued success of ASPA. Funding for the current year is being matched 2 to 1 by ASPA and will fund 17 apprentices, including 3 power system engineers, 2 energy technology engineers, 2 water/wastewater civil engineers, 6 photovoltaic system technicians, and 4 electronic meter technicians.
“I want to thank OIA Assistant Secretary Nikolao Pula for these funds, as well as our local government officials including ASPA Executive Director Utu Abe Malae for their hard work in obtaining this important funding for American Samoa,” concluded Amata.
# # #