WASHINGTON, 22 MAY 2018 (MARIANAS VARIETY)— — Doug Domenech, assistant secretary of the Interior for insular and international affairs, has announced US$230,000 to support the 2018 Pacific Lineman Training programme for linesmen from American Samoa, Guam, Ebeye, Majuro, Palau, Pohnpei, and Yap.

An additional US$17,405 will support participation in workshops and meetings sponsored by the Pacific Power Association for the three U.S. Pacific territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has prioritised energy independence and an important component of that is ensuring that teams in the islands are trained and expert to provide safe, consistent, and effective delivery of electricity throughout their communities,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech.“Families, health services, schools, the private sector, and other industries in the islands all rely on these services.”

The FY 2018 Maintenance Assistance Programme funding provided is as follows:

  • Yap State Public Service Corporation – US$230,000 for the 2018 Pacific Lineman Training Programme that will provide 26 weeks of nationally recognised basic lineman certification training from August 2018 to April 2019. Seventy-two power linemen from the seven insular areas of American Samoa (12), Guam (7), Ebeye (2), Majuro (10), Palau (10), Pohnpei (10) and Yap (21) will participate.

Island utilities face severe shortages of qualified power linemen, due to attrition and retirement. The Pacific Lineman Training programme ensures each island maintains adequately trained line crews, with the capability of operating and maintaining the power distribution infrastructure of their islands. Each island utility participating in the program is contributing to the matching dollar amount of US$213,495 towards the total project cost of $443,495.

  • Pacific Power Association – US$17,405 to support the 9th Annual Utility Engineers’ Workshop and the 27th Annual Conference for 2018. Funding will support participation by the utilities’ technical staff from American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam to attend the above-referenced workshop and conference. The territory governments will provide matching funds of US$9,050…..PACNEWS