Alaska June Economic Trends

In June Trends: This month we look at the oil industry’s history of employment swings and how this current round of losses differs. This issue includes an update on COVID-19-related job losses based on the first available detailed data, and on who received unemployment benefits in April as a result.

Source: Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Delivering CTE programs in remote, blended and social-distanced environments

This webinar will take a broader, administrator-level look at offering postsecondary CTE programs in remote, blended and socially-distanced learning environments, including how institutions are planning for upcoming courses and the overall repercussions of the pandemic on CTE programs. Topics will include working with other institution leaders to make decisions about blended and socially-distanced models, creative approaches to the delivery of CTE programs in the context of those decisions, evaluating CTE program offerings and related staffing decisions in light of current budget situations and safety concerns, recruiting students in the current environment and utilizing CARES Act funds.

Source: ACTE

Virtual Microgrid Boot Camp prepares students for utility internships

ACEP’s Jeremy Vandermeer simulates solar energy integrated into microgrid for 2019 boot camp participants. Photo by Amanda Byrd.

The second Microgrid Boot Camp is wrapping up this week. Previously a hands-on learning experience at Alaska Center for Energy and Power facilities in Fairbanks, the boot camp this year is held in an online format due to coronavirus restrictions. It remains a collaboration between ACEP and the Laboratory for Energy And Power Solutions at Arizona State University.

The course was originally developed by LEAPS as part of the Naval Enterprise Partnership Teaming with Universities for National Excellence program, an energy research project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, to break new ground in alternative energy employment for student veterans.

The intensive five-day training focuses on technical, economic and regulatory basics of microgrids, with an emphasis on Alaska energy challenges. Camp participants earn one credit through the UAF Bristol Bay Campus and are primarily University of Alaska undergraduate students who have been selected for the ACEP Utility Student Internship program.

This year the camp expanded to a full capacity of 16 participants: nine UA undergrad students, four students from out of state and three participants from a regional tribal consortium. ACEP intends to continue expanding the reach of the course in the future to utility members, city and tribal councils, housing authorities, trade schools and programs, and utility industry personnel.

ACEP researchers, ASU collaborators and Alaska energy experts are engaging with the participants and sharing their expertise via sessions such as microgrid design activities, virtual Power Systems Integration Lab tour and demonstration, and Alaska Energy Authority powerhouse tours.  There will be a group collaboration project on electric vehicles and an energy audit activity, among other presentations, and virtual hands-on learning activities.

The boot camp outfits participants with the knowledge and skills to prime them for online-based summer internship project work with remote and railbelt utilities, many of which have started the process of integrating renewable and alternative energy sources into their grids.

The Microgrid Boot Camp is funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.

For more information on the ACEP Microgrid Boot Camp, please contact Heike Merkel.

Source: Virtual Microgrid Boot Camp prepares students for utility internships – UAF Cornerstone

Alaska May Economic Trends

In May Trends: May’s issue features more on COVID-19 and Alaska’s economy, including a look at seasonal jobs and the initial jump in unemployment claims. This issue also summarizes our recent population projections for 2019-2045.

Source: Department of Labor and Workforce Development – Research and Analysis