The Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company renewed its partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast Center for Mine Training this week, with a gift of $315,000 to be realized over the next three years. The gift supports the world-class workforce development program “Pathway to Mining Careers” with scholarship assistance to prepare Alaskans for key jobs in the mining industry, with an emphasis on mine mechanics specializing in underground equipment, that are vital to the overall economy of the state. The program provides a platform for Alaskans to learn more about and engage with the mining industry. It exemplifies a commitment to safety and environmental stewardship in the use of Alaskan resources.
Mike Satre commented, “The Hecla Greens Creek Mine is proud to continue its support of UAS. With this investment, we will have contributed over $1.2M since 2011 in support of developing a skilled local workforce through UAS’s renowned Center for Mine Training. Over ten percent of our diesel mechanics at the mine have started their career path at UAS and we look forward to growing that number. In this time of uncertainty it is important that we partner with our local university to provide a dependable pathway to high paying careers for the members of our community and this program does exactly that.” Sartre is the Manager of Government and Community Relations at Hecla Greens Creek Mine.
Through the generosity of Hecla Greens Creek, scholarships have been awarded along the career pathway to students who successfully apply for them and maintain their academic eligibility. Over the past 5 years nearly $300k has been awarded to students. All students within any of the Pathway programs are made aware their scholarships come directly from Hecla Greens Creek. As with student participation, overall awareness and support has grown with the program.
“This continued partnership between UAS and Hecla Greens Creeks means that another generation of Alaskans will have the support they need to start careers in one of Alaska’s most lucrative and vital industries. The need for mine mechanics with a respect for the land on which we live has been paramount to this effort. The support student’s receive from Hecla Greens Creek has beneficially furthered the career options and skills of all those who have received funding, said program coordinator Casey Bain.
The “Pathway to Mining Careers” program for high school juniors and seniors has expanded to include adults new to the mining industry. The pathway begins with an introduction to mining careers and occupations course, designed to teach students that you don’t have to be a miner to work at a mine. High school students who take this 3 credit UAS class also receive .5 high school credits. The class includes field trips, guest speakers, and hands-on activities. The next step in the pathway is the week-long “Hecla Greens Creek Mine Academy,” where students take the Mine Safety and Health Administration training which culminates in the federally-recognized certification required to work at any mine in the United States. It features the virtual mine training simulator at UAS and includes field trips to the underground mine lab.
A not-for-profit education foundation created in 1996 as The National Center for Construction Education and Research (dba.NCCER). It was developed with the support of more than 125 construction CEO’s, associations, and academic leaders who come together to transform training for the construction industry. Twenty-four years ago, NCCER started with just 5 content areas and now twenty-four years later they have developed curricula for more than 70 craft areas and completed a series of more than 70 assessments offered in over 6,000 NCCER-accredited training assessment locations across the United States.
NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curriculum and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s Registry System that allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.
NCCER’s workforce development process of accreditation , instructor certification. standardized curriculum, registry, assessment, and certification is a key component in the industry’s workforce development efforts. NCCER also drives multiple initiatives to enhance career development and recruitment efforts for the industry, primarily through its Build Your Future initiative. http://www.BYF.org
Mining is a growing force in Alaska’s economy, providing jobs for thousands of Alaskans and millions of dollars of personal income throughout Alaska. Alaska’s mining industry includes exploration, mine development, and mineral production. Alaska’s mines produce coal, gold, lead, silver, zinc, as well as construction materials, such as sand, gravel, and rock.
year AMA commissions the McDowell Group to research the economic impact
of Mining in Alaska. Continued investments by the mining industry
ensure Alaska’s continued economic growth.
Click here to read the current (2018) Economic Impact Report for Mining in Alaska
Trends begins 2019 with the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development annual jobs forecast. For this year, they forecast a small amount of overall job growth. Regionally, the Fairbanks area’s employment will grow the most, largely tied to the preparations to house two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base over the next couple of years as well as the accompanying personnel and their families.
Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development
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.