Workforce Wednesday: Alaska Military Youth Academy

The Alaska Military Youth Academy is helping at‑risk kids get the skills they need to succeed and become job-ready.

The academy is a restart program for at‑risk youth: students who have either dropped out of high school or are in jeopardy of not graduating. Cadets live on their campus for 22 weeks, where they can earn their GED. AMYA is an accredited high school that can also teach them important job skills.

The pre‑apprenticeship program is a grant-funded four-week part of the AMYA program that trains youth, in partnership with unions, in four common construction trades. They also can train in the culinary arts and health‑related services. Before they begin formal training, students receive safety and OSHA certifications, along with scaffold building certification required in most trades.

Employability skills are embedded in everything AMYA teaches, so employers know that graduates are equipped with all of the skills necessary to be successful on the job.

Applicants must be between 16 and 18 years old and need a high-school education. To apply, visit AMYA online.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Alaska Military Youth Academy » KTVA 11

New Nurse Balanced School with Pregnancy and a Newborn

Two days after finding out she was pregnant, newlywed Deanna Pavil got another big surprise — an acceptance letter to the nursing program hosted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel.

At first, the thought of juggling pregnancy and a newborn baby with a challenging academic program seemed overwhelming. That’s when Pavil called her dad. Charles and Sharon Rodgers had always encouraged their daughter to follow her dreams.

“My dad gave me the push that I needed,” said Pavil, who grew up in Bethel. “He knew this was something I wanted to do, so he wouldn’t let me get off the phone until I said, ‘OK, I can do this.’ I couldn’t have gotten through the nursing program without the help and support of my mom and dad.”

Pavil’s family traveled to Anchorage when she was a high school junior when her grandmother needed open-heart surgery. The hospital staff’s caring actions inspired Pavil to dream of a career in health care. After graduating from Bethel Regional High School, she worked for four years in medical records at Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital. It wasn’t until Pavil started taking classes to become a certified nurse aide that she discovered her calling to be a nurse.

“I enjoyed working in medical records, but knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Pavil, who graduated with an associate of applied science degree in nursing in December 2016. “I wanted to do more to help people and make a difference in their lives. The same week I quit my job, I got a phone call about the CNA class.”

Bethel’s certified nursing assistant program is made possible by a community partnership between UAF’s Kuskokwim Campus, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. and Yuut Elitnaurviat, a regional vocational training center. Since 2013, the organizations have worked together to train local residents to fill needed certified nurse aide positions at the YKHC Elder Home. For many students like Pavil, Bethel’s CNA program is a stepping stone to earning an associate of applied science degree in nursing. It’s also a way for them to pursue a degree in health care without having to move away from home.

Read the full article here.

Source: New nurse balanced school with pregnancy and a newborn – UAF News and Information

Workforce Wednesday: Educator with the Dept. of Corrections

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is looking for Education Coordinators and Vocational Instructors. Gary Olsen, Criminal Justice Planner of Education with the DOC, joined Daybreak Wednesday to provide details.

Vocational instructors primarily teach the construction trade: electrical, carpentry, plumbing and HVAC skills. They use the curriculum in the National Center for Construction Education and Research that is sponsored by Alaska Process Industry Career Consortium (APICC). Prisoners build a small house in the vocational trade area, getting a resume‑building certification that will help them get jobs after incarceration.

The DOC is seeking applicants with a minimum of three years as a journeyman in construction. They also consider the kinds of experience that someone has supervising crews. Applicants should have a great attitude, an ability to follow rules, policies, procedures, and classroom direction skills.

Education Coordinators perform more traditional teacher duties. They teach criminal attitudes programs, re-entry, anger management, and GED classes. The minimum qualification for this position is a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling, or education. Many veterans find themselves successful in this position, Olsen says, because the experience obtained while serving is excellent preparation for teaching at the DOC.

These positions yield roughly $4,000 a month. Health coverage includes eye, dental, and medical care. The state also provides a small stipend for retirement.

More positions are potentially expected to open in the future. For full descriptions, visit

For help beginning a career in the positions covered in Workforce Wednesday, contact Martha Peck with APICC at (907) 770-5250 or

Watch the full Workforce Wednesday video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Educator with the Dept. of Corrections » KTVA 11

Alaska August Economic Trends

August Trends details the residential rental market survey results, which shows rent is up slightly and vacancy has increased in most places since 2016. This issue also provides a look at federal military spending. Finally, a new feature is introduced this month, “Gauging Alaska’s Economy,” which provides four pages of key economic indicators for Alaska. This will give Trends readers the opportunity to track the big economic picture for the state each month, in one place.

Read the August Alaska Economic Trends

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Alaska Teachers Strengthen Science Education with Help from Alaska Sea Grant


Alaska Sea Grant helped sponsor a workshop for teachers in the Alaska capital in June as part of its mission to promote marine literacy.

Ten teachers from Juneau and Cordova gathered at Lena Point where the University of Alaska Fairbanks fisheries facility is located. They were there for a curriculum-writing workshop led by Marilyn Sigman and Peggy Cowan. An associate professor at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Sigman also serves as Alaska Sea Grant’s marine education specialist. Cowan is a former director of Alaska Sea Grant’s “Sea Week” program and former superintendent of the Juneau School District.

The workshop goal was to write lesson plans for Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska Seas and Watersheds curriculum. The K–8 curriculum was developed by Alaska teachers to provide teaching resources with high-quality content focused on marine science topics.

“This curriculum was last revised by teachers in 2009 to be aligned with Alaska’s state science standards and to be available online. The task this time was to align with new national standards for science that include technology and engineering, and new state standards for math, English and language arts. In addition, we asked teachers to emphasize place-based content, including connections to local Alaska Native cultures,” Sigman said.

The lesson plans developed at the workshop are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, a national effort to improve content and the way science is taught in K–12 classrooms. In addition to learning about current marine research and writing lesson plans, the teachers piloted field-trip teaching activities at low tide on a Juneau beach on the last day of the workshop.

The field trip lessons will be used in Juneau and Cordova during Sea Week, the popular marine literacy program for K-8 students that originated in Juneau more than 40 years ago and evolved into the statewide Alaska Seas and Watersheds program. Beginning in the 1980s, Alaska Sea Grant expanded Juneau’s tradition statewide, continuing to emphasize field trips along with the use and celebration of the local environment and community partnerships to teach science and other subjects.

Four of seven Juneau School District teachers who participated in the June workshop were “second-generation” Sea Week-ers, having grown up doing Sea Week field trips every year during elementary school in Juneau, Hoonah, or Angoon. Three of the four teachers were Alaska Natives, members of the Tlingit tribe.

Hans Chester, who works as an Indian studies specialist, was among them. Chester emphasized the importance of integrating culture into education.

“Designing lesson plans that incorporate the cultural backgrounds of Alaska students is a powerful way to engage and teach them. Culture is everything we have, think and do as members of a society,” Chester said.

Other workshop participants included educators from community partners—a Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery in Juneau and the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova—who sponsor and provide Sea Week field trips.

The final lesson plans will be integrated into curricula in Juneau and Cordova school districts. The lessons will also be made available to teachers statewide through the Alaska Seas and Watersheds website and through professional development workshops that Alaska Sea Grant holds throughout the state.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant July Fishlines Newsletter