UAF Mine Design Team Wins First Place in National Competition

Photo courtesy of Rajive Ganguli.

Steve Gabrielsen, Jeff Wetton, David Hernandez and Jed Hardcastle won first place in the 2018 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Engineering Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America mine design contest. Mining students from around the country submit their capstone design reports.

The trio submitted their senior design report from MIN 490, taught by Rajive Ganguli. The project centered on a Hecla-owned property in Mexico. The students consulted with Hecla professionals as they worked on the report.

For the past six years, MIN 490 mine design teams have placed in the top three five times, and have won the event twice.

Source: UAF mine design team wins first place in national competition – UAF news and information

Alaska Workforce Investment Board Seeks Outstanding Partners in Workforce Development

ANCHORAGE, AK— The Alaska Workforce Investment Board (AWIB) is now accepting nominations for the David G. Stone Award, which recognizes outstanding partners in workforce development. Employers, K-12 Career and Technical Education instructors and administrators, and Postsecondary Career and Technical Education instructors and administrators are eligible for this award in honor of Mr. Stone, a distinguished public servant dedicated to workforce development and Alaska hire.

The Board will grant awards in three categories:

  1. K-12 Career and Technical Education Instructor/Administrator of the Year Award
    Individuals employed as classroom/laboratory instructors or administrators in a K-12 vocational technical career education program are eligible recipients for this award.
  2. Postsecondary Career and Technical Education Instructor/Administrator of the Year Award
    Individuals employed as classroom/laboratory instructors or administrators including training coordinators and training directors in a postsecondary training, career and technical education program or apprenticeship are eligible for this award.
  3. Employer of the Year Award
    Nominees must be an employer providing jobs to Alaskans. The employer must demonstrate support for the public workforce system.

Mr. Stone served as the Department of Labor and Workforce Development deputy commissioner, as vice-chair of the AWIB for many years, and deputy mayor to the Juneau Assembly. He was a hard-working leader who helped establish mine training programs throughout Alaska, and served in various capacities for the Southeast Conference, Alaska Municipal League, and Alaska Miners Association.

Nominations are open until midnight, January 4, 2019. For eligibility information and nomination forms, visit the AWIB website:

For additional information about the awards or the nomination process, please contact Louise Dean, AWIB Executive Director, at 907-269-7487 or

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Alaska October Economic Trends

TrendsOCT2018Every two years the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development projects jobs by industry and occupation for a 10-year period, and the October Trends provides their newest set for 2016-2026. They project overall job growth at just over 5 percent, with the highest growth in health care.

Read the full issue here.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Education College Launched with Aim to Produce More Alaskan Teachers

University of Alaska president Jim Johnsen delivers his State of the University address to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 16, 2017, in the Hangar Ballroom. Johnsen is aiming to produce more homegrown Alaska teachers with the debut of the UA College of Education this fall. (AP Photo/James Brooks/Juneau Empire)

Alaska’s higher education leaders are overhauling their operations in an effort to ultimately improve the outcomes of the state’s youngest students.

The University of Alaska System debuted its College of Education this month, which system President Jim Johnsen hopes will provide better structure to teacher education programs statewide and eventually help the UA produce more homegrown teachers to fill vacancies in school districts statewide.

“I can’t say it enough, teachers are the single most important job in our state and in our society,” Johnsen stressed in an interview. “The touch or touched every single person in our state and their purpose, more than any other occupation in our society, is to support our people and to advance our people.”

Individuals with a solid educational background add to a skilled workforce, are more culturally aware, earn higher incomes, are less likely to be incarcerated and live healthier lives, Johnsen added.

Read the full article here.

Source: Education College launched with aim to produce more Alaskan teachers – Alaska Journal of Commerce

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Alaska $3.35M to Prepare Alaskans for Work in High-Growth Industries

JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Department of Labor awarded $3.35 million dollars to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Trade and Economic Transition Dislocated Worker Grants. This two-year funding will expand the capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs that prepare Alaskans for occupations in the state’s fastest growing sectors: health care, construction, and maritime industries.

“It is critical that we invest in Alaskans who seek training to be first in line for these high-paying jobs on major projects, such as the Alaska LNG Gasline,” said Alaska Governor Bill Walker. “This funding will assist as we grow our own skilled workforce to fill essential occupations; from welders and pipefitters, operating engineers, to truck drivers, laborers, electricians and mechanics.”

Dislocated Worker Grants support state, tribal, and non-profit entities that implement innovative skills training and career services for people seeking reemployment as the economy and corresponding workforce needs change. Alaska’s aging workforce will increase demand for qualified workers across all sectors, in addition to the growing number of jobs in health care, construction, and maritime industries. This funding will boost existing training and support services provided by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Job Center Network.

“This funding supports our steadfast commitment to Alaska Hire and a robust, skilled workforce,” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “It is critical that Alaskans who need to transition careers are ready to go to work in these high demand occupations, and the Department is eager to assist in that process.”

Grant funds will be available through the job centers for dislocated workers and will come in diverse forms, including:

  • Enhanced career services, support services and work-based learning opportunities
  • Training programs that lead to industry recognized credentials and employment
  • Quality pre-apprenticeship opportunities in health care and construction industry occupations
  • Support for those newly entering Registered Apprenticeships
  • Direct employment referral

For more information: Shawna Harper, Assistant Director of Workforce Development, Division of Employment and Training Services: 907-465-1882,

Source: State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development