Workforce Wednesday: Becoming a Power Dispatcher

Power dispatchers are the people who help keep the lights on for Alaskans from Anchorage to Cooper Landing. According to Mike Miller, a power dispatcher with Chugach Electric Association, they even forecast energy usage for customers during special events like the Super Bowl. A power dispatcher makes sure there is a stable power grid so those Alaskans can reliably get electricity. Miller said in the event of an outage, a dispatcher will coordinate with crews working in the field so power can be restored quickly and safely.

Cari-Ann Carty with Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium said there’s a lot of career opportunities for a power dispatcher as most major communities in Alaska have a power utility company. Carty mentioned two ways to start a career as a power dispatcher. The first is to get a degree in electrical engineering like Miller. The other way is getting an internship or apprenticeship program through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The pay ranges from $25 to $55 an hour.

For more information on becoming a power dispatcher and to see who’s hiring, head to APICC.org.

Watch the full Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Becoming a power dispatcher | KTVA 11

Coeur Alaska Inc. Donates $40,000 to UAS Scholarship Fund

Coeur Award - Avery Stewart

Juneau, Alaska – Coeur Alaska Inc. has donated $40,000 to the UAS Coeur Alaska-Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award this academic year. This brings a total donation of $126,500 to the University of Alaska Southeast since 2010 with $100,000 going to awards for students studying environmental science.

“Coeur Alaska – Kensington Mine values our partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and our shared desire to train the next generation of Alaskans in the field of Environmental Science,” says Wayne Zigarlick, VP and General Manager. “We are pleased to make this contribution to the scholarship endowment fund to help students who share our dedication toward preserving and protecting the environment.”

Avery Stewart is just one of these students. A Coeur Alaska – Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award recipient and a senior at UAS, Stewart is set to graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He has made the Dean’s Honor List and enrolled in the UAS honors program and researched hydrology while participating in the UAS International Student Exchange program in Hungary in 2015. He plans to continue his education researching biotechnology and renewable energy and use his skills to help Alaska’s economy.

“Our state has relied heavily on our natural gas reserves, for which profits have dwindled over the last decade, but it has incredible potential for wind and hydro power that has been largely untouched.” Stewart says. “I think in the future we will have no choice but to invest in alternative energy. I’m actually really hopeful for the country and for the state.”

For more information about the University of Alaska Southeast, visit www.uas.alaska.edu or call 907-796-6100.

Source: UAS Press Release – March 21, 2017 (Photo Credit: Seanna O’Sullivan)

Workforce Wednesday: Economic Opportunities

In the face of an economic downturn in Alaska, some may be wondering if there are jobs to be had.

Wednesday, state labor economist, Neal Fried said “fear not.” While the state is still losing jobs at a rate currently higher than the national average, turnover rate works to its advantage. Many who have lost their jobs in oil, construction or even retail leave Alaska. There are also fewer people coming in looking for employment. It potentially means more opportunities for job seekers.

“You shouldn’t be discouraged,” Fried said. “You hear the word ‘recession’ thrown around, which means the job market is more competitive but there’s still definitely action in the job market. Employers are hiring people. There is turnover in that job market. It’s just, you know, it’s just a little more difficult right now.”

Watch the video by clicking the above image to find out which industry is perking up in Alaska.

Alaska Jobs and Careers Fairs

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Economic opportunities | KTVA 11

Want to be a millwright? Training will soon be available, in Anchorage.

What’s a millwright? It’s a seldom-discussed but absolutely crucial (and highly paid) profession that demands a meticulous eye, versatility, and expertise with everything from turbines and pumps to lasers and other highly technical equipment.

The word “millwright” conjures the thought of someone from an antique age — a leather-aproned, mustached man in a sepia photograph, sweaty, amid the dusty belts, gears and wheels of a machine shop.

The reality, now, in Alaska, is that a millwright is a person with a sophisticated range of skills who can find work in just about any of the state’s industrial sectors — including mining, oil and gas, seafood processing, power and energy, water and wastewater. Freshly minted millwrights can command a starting salary between $70,000-$120,000.

Why would companies pay that kind of coin to a person who fixes, maintains and moves industrial machinery?

They pay because millwrights know, for example, that gearboxes and turbines and hydraulic pumping and piping must be laid on a center line, with everything square and plumb. If they’re not, anything can happen: a small pump aligned improperly might draw more power so it doesn’t operate as efficiently and wastes money.

Read the full article here.

Source: Want to be a millwright? Training will soon be available, in Anchorage – Green & Gold News