Fast Track Certificates 2.0

Thanks to a $3 million American Rescue Plan Act grant, students at UAA, as well as individuals living in the Municipality of Anchorage can apply for UAA’s Fast Track program and receive funds to cover the cost of their program. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Last fall, UAA announced its Fast Track Certificate program. This year, the Municipality of Anchorage has collaborated with the university with a $3 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant that broadens the scope of the Fast Track program.

The ARPA grant provides funds for 30 lower-division credit hours of a one-year occupational endorsement certificate program from UAA or qualifying program within the MOA and the associated costs up to $9,000, including living expenses, with a maximum award of $18,000 per individual.

Learn more here.

Source: Fast Track Certificates 2.0 – UAA Green and Gold

Friday Focus: Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center

Ginny Eckert (lower left), Julie Queen (upper left), Nettie La Belle-Hamer (back), Anupma Prakash (second from left), Quentin Fong (second from right) and Kellie Fritze far right) gathered at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center in June 2021. Photo courtesy of Julie Queen.

As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve in Alaska, our ability to travel to UAF facilities located throughout the state is also possible again. This in-person connection has been missing over the past year, and we are all pretty excited to engage with our colleagues again. In my role as vice chancellor for administrative services, seeing a facility first-hand and getting to know the people located there, including the research, instruction, or outreach activities taking place, has been so helpful as I familiarize myself with UAF infrastructure needs across the state. For this visit to the Alaska Sea Grant-managed Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, I was accompanied by our provost, interim vice chancellor for research, Alaska Sea Grant director and associate vice chancellor for facilities services. Science Center inspired hope for resilient programs that will move UAF forward.

Read the full article here.

Source: UAF Cornerstone Friday Focus: Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center by Julie Queen

Alaska Maritime Education Consortium designated a 2021 Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education

The Alaska Maritime Education Consortium (AMEC) has received a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE) designation in 2021. The announcement was made by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration on May 19. Twenty-seven maritime training and education organizations received this designation and AMEC is one of just two consortium models to receive this recognition.

The Alaska Maritime Education Consortium (AMEC) represents a collaboration between the University of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development through the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward. The university campuses include: University of Alaska Anchorage Kenai Peninsula College at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer, Kodiak College, and Prince William Sound College in Valdez; University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham; and University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Campus. Through the consortium, Alaskans across the state have access to four state-of-the-art mission bridge simulators and firefields, more than 40 U.S. Coast Guard approved courses, and other industry recognized training.

“This prestigious designation recognizes the value of our partnership and the caliber of our maritime training programs as being among the best in the country,” said UA Interim President Pat Pitney.

As enacted in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, certain colleges are designated as maritime centers of excellence with the goal of creating a new talent pipeline for careers in the maritime trades. The program is designed to assist the maritime industry in gaining and sustaining a well-trained labor force while enhancing diversity and inclusion in the industry. Through these designations, MARAD may start working with the designated institutions to enter into cooperative agreements to help advance recruitment of students and faculty, enhance facilities, award student credit for military service, and potentially receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of MARAD vessels. 

The collaboration between the University of Alaska and AVTEC provides maritime career pathways to good paying jobs and helps provide a skilled workforce to meet the maritime industry’s needs. While this consortium was established in 2019, UA’s partnership with AVTEC and commitment to this key economic sector has been growing for more than a decade.

“We intend to utilize this designation to expand the awareness of the industry, career opportunities, and the premier training that is available at AVTEC and multiple University of Alaska campuses,” said AVTEC Director Cathy LeCompte.

In preparing the CoE application, AMEC developed its five-year Action Agenda as a follow-up to the 2014 Alaska Maritime Workforce Plan. It includes a brief summary of the Plan’s goals and strategies, an update and review of the maritime priority occupations based on labor market information, activities and outcomes since the Plan was published, and specific AMEC projects to strengthen training and employment.

Through the CoE designation, the Maritime Administration supports community or technical colleges and maritime training centers that prepare Americans for careers in the maritime industry. The CoE designation recognizes the tremendous value that the Alaska Maritime Education Consortium provides to our state and nation. AMEC will leverage the designation to strengthen future funding opportunities to invest in these maritime programs and enhance their ability to meet the maritime workforce industry’s needs.

Alaska’s maritime industry — often referred to as “Alaska’s blue economy” — supports more than 70,000 jobs and, according to the Alaska Department of Labor, is the state’s largest private employer. It includes fishermen, seafood processors, ocean managers and researchers, vessel operators, deckhands, mechanics and many others who work in jobs connected to Alaska’s 34,000 miles of shoreline and multibillion-dollar annual seafood industry. Alaska waters produce more than 60 percent of the nation’s seafood harvest with a wholesale value of nearly $6 billion.

Alaska is highly dependent on maritime shipping for imports of food and other goods, and for exports of oil, seafood and minerals. Alaska’s blue economy is boosted annually by millions of dollars generated from water transport including visitors arriving on cruise ships, halibut charters, travel on Alaska’s Marine Highway vessels and subsistence hunting and fishing. These opportunities require a responsive workforce that enables the maritime sector to remain a substantial contributor to the state.

For additional information, please visit Centers of Excellence on the MARAD website.

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For more information contact Monique Musick, manager communications and marketing UA System Office, 907-388-4784, or Cathy LeCompte, 907-224-6150, director of the Alaska Vocational Technical Center.

Alaska Fishing Group Embarks on Ambitious Venture to Boost the State’s ‘Blue Economy’

New ocean-related jobs, investments and opportunities will be seeded by an ambitious Blue Pipeline Venture Studio that connects marine business entrepreneurs with the technology, contacts and finances they need to grow.

“The state’s blue economy includes anything that takes place on the water, most prominently the seafood industry, along with marine recreation, maritime research, waterborne transportation and much more,” said Garrett Evridge, a well-known fisheries economist previously with the former McDowell Group and new research director for the Venture Studio.

“There is significant opportunity to grow the Alaskan ocean economy,” he added. “That might come from refinement of existing industries, getting more value out of salmon, for example, or support for new industries like growing seaweeds, or just being prepared for opportunities that aren’t even on the radar. Like what’s going to happen in 10, 20 or 30 years. What can we do now to position ourselves for success? We have a lot of challenges and opportunities that we know are headed our way, like climate change and ocean acidification. What’s our plan for those? It’s part of growing a culture that can embrace change and identify opportunities.”

The nonprofit Venture Studio is the first statewide program of the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association’s Ocean Cluster that launched in 2017. It is modeled after a venture led by Iceland in 2011 that now includes over 50 clusters around the world.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska fishing group embarks on ambitious venture to boost the state’s ‘blue economy’ – ADN

AK ACTE – Celebrating Excellence in CTE

The Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education (AK ACTE), is proud to recognize outstanding educators, organizations, and sponsors across the state of Alaska for the 2020-2021 awards.

CTE Teacher of the Year: Ronnie Hawley, Tikigak School, Point Hope, North Slope Borough School District. Award sponsored by Alaska Resource Education.

New CTE Teacher of the YearSusanna Mishler, King Tech High School, Anchorage School District. Award sponsored by the Alaska Business Education Compact.

CTE Leadership AwardCarin Smolin, Juneau School District. Award sponsored by the Alaska Safety Alliance.

Community Service Award: Bering Straits School District CTE Program for manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment for regional health care responders and providers, and seafood industry workers.

Career Guidance AwardAnne Adasiask-Andrew, Anchorage School District.

Innovative Program AwardCTE Summer Intensives for Special Populations, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. Award sponsored by Donlin Gold.

AK ACTE will be celebrating these deserving award winners in partnership with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development at their Spring CTE Work Session.

Source: AK ACTE