Cordova Hosts U.S. Senate Field Hearing on Microgrids | Alaska Public Media

When it comes to emerging energy technologies, many remote Alaska communities are on the cutting edge. That was the message from Cordova this spring, where U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski held a field hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she chairs.

The focus of the hearing was microgridsself-contained electrical grids, which can operate unconnected to any larger transmission system. They’re a necessity for just about every Alaska community off the road system. Most of the grids are powered by diesel, but more and more communities are trying to cut costs by adding renewables like wind or expanding hydropower.

In the process, the state has become a testing ground for technologies that are increasingly interesting to the rest of the world.

Read the full article here.


Source: Cordova Hosts U.S. Senate Field Hearing on Microgrids | Alaska Public Media

Workforce Wednesday: Marine Coating

Marine coating is a profession that protects Alaska’s ships from corrosion, marine growth and more.

Mike Ritz, a co-owner of Alaska Marine Coatings, says there is a lot of surface preparation which means it’s a very physical occupation. He added that includes sandblasting, spraying, brushing, painting numbers and other job duties.

Because of Alaska’s vast amounts of coastline, Ritz said job seekers can find a lot of opportunities in marine coating within the state. He says jobs can found from the North Slope to the Kenai Peninsula.

People can expect to make anywhere from $25 to $35 an hour, depending on experience. The other co-owner of Alaska Marine Coatings, Tiffany Ritz, added there is a lot of opportunity for growth, depending on the certifications people acquire.

To find out how to get started, or just more information, visit the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium website. For more on Alaska Marine Coatings, head to their Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

To watch the full Workforce Wednesday segment, click here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Marine Coating » KTVA 11

Valley Couple Establishes New Mat-Su College Scholarship

Future students of the Matanuska-Susitna College recently became the beneficiaries of a new scholarship established by Valley residents Bob and Charilyn Cardwell, according to campus director Dr. Talis Colberg.

While the Cardwells wanted to keep the exact amount of their donation discreet, Colberg said, “it is substantial enough that it will mean thousands of dollars in annual scholarships to provide financial assistance for tuition and other related expenses to vocational education students at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Matanuska-Susitna College.” He added that in addition, the already large scholarship endowment is likely to grow significantly because it also involves a charitable rollover from the Cardwells IRA and another gift planned in their will.

Bob Cardwell is a retired local school principal, and according to Colberg, the genesis of the scholarship idea came in part from Bob’s experiences as a student.

According to Colberg, Cardwell had been a student at Shoreline Community College in Washington state many decades ago. One day he and five other students were called into the office of the college director, who announced to them that an anonymous donor had asked the director to select six students in order to pay their tuition as an “achievement scholarship” — with no strings attached.   

“Mr. Cardwell never forgot that gesture,” Colberg said. “Both he and his wife have grown to appreciate this college and this community and decided to set up their own ‘achievement scholarship’ to benefit students at Matanuska-Susitna College.”

“This is the seventh major new scholarship established at Matanuska-Susitna College in seven years,” Colberg added. “The new scholarship funds have been endowed by local people for the benefit of local students.  Even as the college has reduced staff in a period of new fiscal realities it is re-assuring and uplifting to see thoughtful individuals, like Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell, step forward and offer their hard earned personal savings to support educational opportunities at the Matanuska-Susitna College. It is exciting news and we are happy to be the beneficiaries of their generosity.”

Source: Valley Couple Establishes New Mat-Su College Scholarship | Valley Life |

Alaska July Economic Trends

July2017TrendsJuly is the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development annual cost-of-living issue, detailing cost comparisons among Alaska communities and elsewhere as well as how much Alaska’s prices have gone up in the past year. Also in this issue is a look at Alaska’s gross domestic product (the value of all goods and services), which fell in 2016 for the fourth year in a row.

Read the July Alaska Economic Trends

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Putting Your Major to Work: Career Paths After College

CareerPathReportThe Hamilton Project seeks to advance America’s promise of opportunity, prosperity, and growth.

For most people, a college degree is helpful for flourishing in the labor market. College graduates earn more than workers with less education—on average, about $600,000 more over their lifetimes than workers with only a high school education. College graduates also have much lower levels of unemployment, enjoy better health, and have lower mortality rates.

However, not all college experiences have the same benefits. A previous Hamilton Project economic analysis documented important variation in earnings across college majors: for the median degree holder, cumulative lifetime earnings ranged from about $800,000 to roughly $2 million. At the high end of the earnings distribution are graduates who majored in fields emphasizing quantitative skills, such as engineering, computer science, economics, and finance. At the low end are graduates who majored in fields that emphasize working with children or providing counseling services, including early childhood education, elementary education, social work, and fine arts.

In this year’s economic analysis, Hamilton Project research examines how students’ career paths after college explain earnings variation within majors. Read their May 2017 Economic Analysis here.

Explore earning potential of various career paths here.

Source: Putting Your Major to Work: Career Paths after College | The Hamilton Project