Smoke and Gears

Greg Perez, a diesel power technology student, works on an engine during a fall 2017 class. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

For the past three semesters, diesel power technology students have been busy fixing a donated fire engine in the UAA garage. So while some students claim their class projects are life-or-death, this one actually qualifies.

“Every piece has to work together perfectly or else you have a catastrophic failure,” said Ben Stewart, a diesel student who worked on the fire engine.

The stakes are high because the donated truck will return to service with the Seldovia Volunteer Fire Department. It’s a beneficial partnership: students gain valuable experience, while a small community gains a valuable emergency vehicle.

“These are great real-world projects for our students,” noted Darrin Marshall, director of the Department of Automotive and Diesel Technology.

The engine in question originally served the Anchorage Fire Department until it overheated at a rescue call. Department mechanics determined that, in a city with nearly 300,000 tax payers, it was better to replace the older engine than repair it. A community like Seldovia, though, with 0.1 percent of Anchorage’s population, would really benefit from a donation like this.

Read the full article here.

Source: Smoke and gears – Green & Gold News

Alaska @ Work | Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media CEO, Ed Ulman, describes the exciting new initiative, Alaska @ Work, focused on connecting Alaska youth with job opportunities. Watch his address here:
https://www.alaskaatwork.org/collaborating-for-career-success/

Alaska Public Media and area businesses, educational institutions, and community service organizations are partnering in a workforce development initiative focused on high-need jobs in Alaska that do not require four-year degrees.

Through multimedia content and promotion, Alaska Public Media is amplifying the great work being done to help students, parents, educators, and businesses become aware of and connect with training, apprenticeships, resources and job searches to jump-start a career.

Source: Alaska Public Media

Alaska January Economic Trends

Trends begins 2019 with the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development annual jobs forecast. For this year, they forecast a small amount of overall job growth. Regionally, the Fairbanks area’s employment will grow the most, largely tied to the preparations to house two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base over the next couple of years as well as the accompanying personnel and their families.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Report Highlights MSIs as ‘Underutilized Resource’ for Strengthening STEM Workforce

Providing early research experiences and creating supportive campus environments are among the promising and intentional strategies outlined in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine focused on the impact and role of minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in producing graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Dr. Kent McGuire

The academy’s report “Minority-Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce” reaffirms the relevance of MSIs and notes an urgent need to invest in the institutions to not only graduate and prepare MSI students for in-demand STEM careers, but also to sustain and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness and national security, according to committee members sponsoring the report.

“This country can’t strengthen the STEM pipeline and bring more people into it without engaging the institutions where the students actually are,” said Dr. Kent McGuire, co-chair of the Committee on Closing the Equity Gap: Securing Our STEM Education and Workforce Readiness Infrastructure in the Nation’s Minority-Serving Institutions. “The conversation isn’t about, ‘Well, we can’t work with these schools because they don’t have this or they don’t have that.’ The conversation has to be, ‘We won’t actually be competitive internationally if we don’t help these schools do well what it is they do.’”

McGuire, who is also program director of education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, added that, among other things, the report speaks to the variation among MSIs in how they serve students and also the challenges they face collectively and individually. America’s nearly 700 two- and four-year MSIs include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).

Read the full article here. It also mentions the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage that embodies the strategies in the report by targeting students earlier in the pipeline – as early as sixth grade – and supporting and nurturing their intellectual growth and interest in STEM fields as they matriculate through their postsecondary education.

Source: Report Highlights MSIs as ‘Underutilized Resource’ for Strengthening STEM Workforce – Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Alaska December Economic Trends

The last issue of 2018 looks at Alaska’s wages for health care occupations and how Alaska compares to other states. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development also profiles the island of Little Diomede, which is just over two miles from Russia, and wage replacement in the unemployment insurance system.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development