Mining News: A Growing Workforce

Mining’s contribution to Alaska’s economy starts with the hefty paychecks being issued to the some 4,350 miners that work in the state, according to recent study completed by the Alaska Miners Association and McDowell Group.

The report, “The economic benefits of Alaska’s mining industry,” found that the average miner working in Alaska during 2016 received a whopping US$108,000 for the year, about double the average income across all sectors in the state. That is nearly US$470 million worth of paychecks, most of which went to Alaskans.

Read the full article here.

Source: Mining News: A growing workforce – February 19, 2017 – Petroleum News

Workforce Wednesday: Looking to the Past to Understand Future Careers

University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Terence Cole has been looking to Alaska’s past to gain insight into the future of careers in our state. What he found was that most jobs that were available more than a century ago don’t exist anymore, and that people need to be instilled with a willingness to adapt change.

“Life is a series of one adaptation after another, and the dramatic changes that have taken place in Alaska over history drive that lesson home like nothing else,” Cole said.

What he realized is that Alaska needs to teach the young workforce to adapt, because the types of careers available now might not be in the next 150 years.

However, according to Cole, Alaska has a competitive edge because it is a natural resource state and probably will be for some time. That means there might always be jobs in mining, fishing, oil and gas.

Cole says that if people are willing to adapt quickly, there will always be career opportunities outside of those resource-dependent jobs.

“Young people need to be prepared,” he said. “They need the best education possible and essentially learning the good habits that everybody does for discipline and be willing to change.”

For more information on new careers, visit the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium website.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Looking to the past to understand future careers | KTVA 11

Alaska February Economic Trends

trends2-2017jpg
February Trends
looks at the modern volatility of jobs in Alaska’s oil industry, comparing periods of loss since the 1980s and providing a snapshot of the industry at its most recent high, in 2015. Also this month is a profile of Hoonah, Southeast’s largest Tlingit community.

Click here to read the issue.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Alaska’s Education Challenge – Office of the Governor

JUNEAU – Alaskans are encouraged to express their priorities for public education reform in a new online survey at https://gov.alaska.gov/education-challenge.

The survey is the first step in the State Board of Education’s participatory process to meet Governor Bill Walker’s Alaska Education Challenge: to establish an efficient, sustainable, and comprehensive system that will provide an excellent education for every student every day.

On Jan. 18, 2017, in his State of the State address, Governor Walker said, “We must do a better job of preparing our youth for the challenges of the future. To meet this challenge, we need to rethink our entire system of public education. Alaskans must be at the heart of this effort.”

The ultimate goal is to graduate students ready for career training and college, whether in the workforce, the military, apprenticeships, technical education courses, or associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs.

“Alaska faces obstacles to student achievement unlike those that exist in any other state in the nation. Alaska’s Education Challenge is to address our student achievement gaps and increase our graduation rate by making sure every student across our state has an equal opportunity to learn and succeed,” said Dr. Michael Johnson, Alaska Commissioner of Education. “Our students, their families, and teachers deserve a focused effort to support the public education system through reform. Though many students in our state are getting a very good education, a large and tragic achievement gap exists.”

The State Board of Education will lead a process of listening, gathering input, and reporting information that will shape recommendations to improve Alaska’s public schools. The board will present its final report to the Governor and Legislature by Dec. 29, 2017.

Commissioner Johnson will establish five committees to gather input from a broad range of Alaskans regarding: 1) student learning, 2) educator excellence, 3) modernization and finance, 4) tribal and community ownership, and 5) safety and well-being.

Students, parents, educators, business leaders, tribal representatives, community leaders, and legislators will be invited to serve on the committees, co-chaired by members of the State Board of Education.

The public will be able to follow the process and participate through the Alaska Education Challenge website: https://gov.alaska.gov/education-challenge. All meetings will be open to the public, and meeting documents will be made available online.

“There have been well-meaning efforts in the past to improve our schools,” said James Fields, chair of the State Board of Education. “What will distinguish the Alaska Education Challenge is its comprehensive analysis, well-publicized opportunities for public participation, and strong support from the Governor.”

Source: Alaska’s Education Challenge – Office of the Governor

Workforce Wednesday: Miner Training


People looking for a career in mining and wanting to get hands on training can now get their hands dirty and learn employability skills. The Mining and Petroleum Training Service, which is a part of the University of Alaska, has a training facility 30 miles outside of Delta Junction. According to Bill Bieber, who’s with MAPTS, it’s a world-class facility.

“We have the underground facility with the under ground equipment that is also used in mines like Green’s Creek and POGO,” he said. Bieber added there are also two state-of-the-art simulators for students to use. One is for surface equipment, the other is for underground. What really makes the facility unique is that the training center is underground, and students have two weeks on and two weeks off. That makes the place “camp style”, in that respect, so that when people transition they can balance life skills with the work they do. In addition, it’s also so that they’re ready to get a job as soon as they graduate.

“We have over 90 percent placement in companies all over the state,” Bieber mentioned. He went on to say that it’s a great opportunity and that people who go through it do very well in the industry.

For more information, visit the Alaska Process Industry Process Careers Consortium website.

Watch the full video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Miner Training | KTVA 11