October 13, 2005

By Tom Burkindine
The Kaselehlie Press

The College of Micronesia-FSM Division of Vocational Education held a graduation ceremony on September 30 to honor those who had successfully completed the Registered Apprenticeship Program.

All 13 of the graduates were apprentices with Pohnpei Utilities Corporation during the two-year training period. The completion of the program earned the apprentices certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor, licenses which are recognized throughout the world.

During the course of their apprenticeship, the graduates earned a percentage of the normal journeyman's wage with increases every three to six months.Director of Vocational Education Anwar Jahan said the difference between learning and training is that this type of training focuses on learner-centered methods of education which allow the apprentices to learn their craft in a hands-on manner.

The program has partnerships with both PUC and the Pohnpei Department of Public Safety. Director of DPS Rulens Phillip spoke to the graduates, explaining that he also earned his Journeyman Certificate.

"Without a skilled and trained workforce, we can't move forward in this very competitive world," Phillip said.

Those receiving Journeymen Certificates in construction equipment mechanics were Ray Salvador, Dunston Charley, and Alson Ada. Journeymen Certificates in diesel mechanics were awarded to Quirino Wennio, Nelsin Usiel, Salmon Walter, Elbert Elias, and Erickson Semens. Journeymen in line repairer were awarded to Sidney Kilmete, Alfons Lawrence, Hamilton Soar, Ioanis Henry, and Inos Wichep.The keynote speech of the program was given by Grilly Jack, coordinator of the apprenticshmip program.