New workforce data highlights the University of Alaska’s impact on preparing students for Alaska jobs & good wages

An in-depth analysis of nine major Alaska industries captures the impact that university programs have in preparing its students for jobs in Alaska’s workforce. The reports answer key questions related to the largest and fastest growing occupations that require some postsecondary education and highlights important employment indicators such as average wages earned, where UA grads work in Alaska, what industries they work in, and how they help boost the Alaska hire rate.

The workforce development and institutional research offices at the University of Alaska partnered with the Research and Analysis Section in the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to create the reports, which demonstrate UA graduate outcomes in nine key fields — administration and finance, aviation, construction, fisheries and marine science, health, information technology, mining, oil and gas, and teacher education. The reports can be found at https://www.alaska.edu/ research/wd/reports.php.

“We are in the business of creating Alaska’s workforce,” UA Interim President Pat Pitney told the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 3, adding that 70 to 90 percent of UA graduates stay in Alaska and find employment. 

The health report, for example, shows that of more than 2,300 nursing graduates in both 2-year and 4-year programs, 89 percent remain in Alaska after graduation and are employed at an average wage of $70,000.

Teri Cothren, University of Alaska Associate Vice President Workforce Development, said: “This data demonstrates the success of our core programs and how we are contributing to Alaska’s high‐demand industries and economy.” 

In preparing the reports, the university analyzed labor market information to identify the largest and fastest-growing occupations in the nine industries, then linked related UA programs to those jobs. Detailed employment and wage information was extracted from employer quarterly reports filed with the Dept. of Labor. That means the numbers are based on a comprehensive match of all graduates who remain and work in Alaska.

“The economic value of training and education is abundantly clear in the data,” said Dan Robinson, Chief Labor Research & Analysis, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “More education and training also correlate strongly with lower unemployment rates.”  

Median earnings, for example, jumped from $35,328 for high school graduates to $44,619 for Alaskans with an associate degree, $57,708 for those with a bachelor’s degree, and $77,402 for holders of graduate or professional degrees. 

Read the full article here.

Source: UA News 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

Alaska Sea Grant: New law supports training for young fishermen

A young fisherman practices Mayday calls at the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit. Photo by Dawn Montano/Alaska Sea Grant.

The “Young Fishermen’s Development Act” was signed into law on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. The goal of the act is to “preserve United States fishing heritage through a national program dedicated to training and assisting the next generation of commercial fishermen.” The bill received bipartisan support and was championed by Reps. Young (AK), Moulton (MA), Golden (ME), Pingree (ME), and Radewagen (AS), and by Sens. Sullivan (AK), Murkowski (AK), Markey (MA), Collins (ME), King (ME), and Cantwell (WA).

The bill addresses challenges faced by new entrants in the fishing industry. Under the new law, competitive grants will support local and regional initiatives supporting fishermen across the nation. Eligible initiatives may include programs, workshops, and services for fishermen on a range of topics, including seamanship, marketing, fisheries management, and more. Implementation is anticipated in 2022 through the National Sea Grant Office.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant: New law supports training for young fishermen

Senate Passes Bill to Help Fishing Industry

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan.

Washington, DC (KINY) – U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski applauded the Senate’s passage of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act.

The legislation is designed to mitigate the challenges facing the next generation of entrants into the fishing industry by supporting regional training opportunities and apprenticeship programs.

Senator Sullivan said this will help keep Alaska a superpower in seafood, “Alaska is the unquestioned superpower of seafood, thanks to our world-class, sustainably-managed fisheries and our countless hard-working fishermen.  The sustainability and endurance of this vital industry, which employs more people in Alaska than any other, depends on up-and-coming qualified fishermen.”

Sullivan said the bill will reduce barriers with new grants, training opportunities and apprenticeship programs.

Senator Lisa Murkowski said the bill will address some of the barriers young people face as they try to join the commercial fishing fleet, “This legislation will support education, training and workplace development of future fishermen and help maintain sustainable fishing careers, strengthen food security, and encourage future generations of Alaskans to pursue jobs in this important industry.”

Rural communities in the U.S. have lost 30 percent of local permit holders in the past decade.  The average age of a fishermen has increase by 10 years over the past generation.

The graying of the fleet has led to an increase in financial capital and risk needed to enter into the commercial fishing industry.

Source: Senate passes bill to help fishing industry – KINY

Alaska November Economic Trends

In November Trends: With the pandemic, the seafood processing industry faced a summer salmon season like no other. Also in this issue: Fish harvesting employment’s five-year trends, and what the consumer price index shows about deflation in 2020.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.