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Gov announces “one-time opportunity” to recruit off island specialized personnel

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Requests must be submitted on or before July 3rd

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Several local businesses and government agencies have requested Lolo Matalasi Moliga to allow technical, specialized, skilled and medical personnel to enter American Samoa to support their needs.

In “light of the numerous requests,” the governor announced in a news release yesterday that the availability of this “one-time opportunity” for private and public sectors to present their requests for “employees qualified under the category of workers needed” to the Governor’s Office for proper vetting and subsequent approval.

According to the Governor’s Office, requests must provide full and detailed description of the person’s professional credentials, specialized skills, specific needs of the business or ASG agency justifying the need for the individual, duration the person is required, proof of effort expended to recruit the required type of skill on island, and any information that would show an “overwhelming need for the skills or credentials” being recruited.

Requests must be submitted to the Governor’s Office, attention of the governor, on or before July 3rd. The requests will be vetted the following week with appropriate decisions rendered with subsequent placement on the list to be transmitted to Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways for transportation to American Samoa on the date to be announced.

“This opportunity is available to all Samoa citizens and other foreign nationals currently residing in Samoa,” the Governor’s Office explained noting that this opportunity is also time sensitive with expeditious implementation to effectively respond to the immediate needs of businesses and government agencies.

The governor first revealed this proposal at Sunday’s government COVID-19 task force meeting when he spokes about extending the COVID-19 emergency declaration for another 30-days and that inter Samoa flights would be reviewed after June 30th.

According to the governor, there are pending requests to bring in specialized professions, such as medical professionals and engineers from Samoa. He said there is a lot of government work pending due to the lack of specialized professionals needed to complete certain tasks.

He also says that there are also businesses, which have submitted request to bring in these specialized skilled professionals and these requests are pending at this point.

The governor explained that once the repatriation flights from Samoa are completed, the administration would start reviewing these requests. He invited businesses and ASG agencies in need of brining in specialized skilled professionals — such as doctors and engineers — to submit their request now so it could be reviewed.  

Based on the Health Department’s presentation at the task force meeting, the last ASG repatriation flights will be on July 3rd, but there’s still the possibility — according to ASG sources — it could extend to early next week to ensure that all local residents are repatriated back to the territory.

Lolo did point out that recruiting for these professionals would focus on Samoa, which has no confirmed COVID-19 case, and possible future recruitment focusing on the Pacific where the virus rate is low and remains steady, compared to the US and other foreign countries.

He reiterated that there is a need to bring in doctors and engineers — especially those from Samoa and Fiji — for completion of government projects.