Holding the attention of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers can be tricky. Fortunately, Juneau is rife with professionals who work in those fields every day.
A group of local STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — advocates is working on a database to make it easy for teachers to connect bookwork with real world work and find those professionals.
“From mining expertise and engineering, kind of geology, we have the glacial, we have University of Alaska Southeast, University of Alaska Fairbanks has fisheries here, we have NOAA fisheries, we have all the state organizations,” said Jordan Watson, a fisheries scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. “We have so many different expertise here and in such a small town, it would seem a shame to not be using it in the classrooms.”
He and other members of SouthEast Exchange, or SEE, wanted to find a way to bring all of those resources to teachers. They hosted a networking event recently to help bridge that gap.
About 150 educators and STEM professionals came to network and register in SEE’s directory.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) is a $1.9 billion investment in more than 700 community colleges nationwide spanning 2011-2018. To find Alaska’s TAACCCT Profile, along with other states, click here or the above image.
Juneau, Alaska – Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company has pledged to renew a $300,000 commitment to the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Center for Mine Training for their “Pathways to Mining Careers” program beginning in Fall 2017. This brings the company’s total investment in local mine training to more than $900,000 since 2011.
The program is a unique collaboration between UAS and Hecla Greens Creek instructors to prepare students for mining careers by offering introductory high school dual enrollment courses at UAS, short-term occupational endorsements in Mine Mechanics and the Associate’s degree in Power Technology/Diesel Mechanics. The program also offers job shadowing opportunities with Hecla Greens Creek mentors. The “Pathways to Mining Careers” culminates in an opportunity for a six month term of probationary employment with the mine and a chance at full employment.
On Workforce Wednesday, KTVA sat down with State Economist Neil Fried who discussed what industries provided the best opportunities for someone in Alaska hoping to join the workforce.
According to Neil, some of the best industries to aim for when looking for work in the state are healthcare, mining, tourism, fishing and air cargo. These Industries are essential for Alaska, and therefore will always need positions filled.
When asked which industry provided what he believed to be the best opportunity for employment, Neil stated that he believed healthcare was the best bet. Due to people always needing care despite changing times, and how the need for healthcare grows as our population grows, that the business of healthcare was a great place to look for employment.
Neil also believes that younger people looking to enter the field are in a great position to find work in today’s world.
Drilling is one of the most in-demand career paths in Alaska today. It requires a lot of work, and long hours, but the payoff is beneficial not only as far as a paycheck is concerned, but in the way it can make you feel as though you’ve dug your boots in the ground and put real work in.
Jon McVay, vice president of Brice Civil Constructors, expressed how he believed an ideal candidate for work in the drilling industry should be someone with strong work ethic, and who is willing to spend potentially long stretches away from home to work.
If someone were to be interested in pursuing a career in drilling, McVay recommends going through Mining and Petroleum Training Services for training. Aside from the education in the field a person would receive there, McVay stated that the training service could help the trainee get established in a network of workers in the field, which could help the candidate get established in a position.
Once training was acquired, it was recommended that the candidate pursue a job as a driller’s assistant to begin their career right in the field.
The range of pay varies from $15 an hour, all the way up to $30 an hour for full-time drillers. The hours can range from 72 to 84 hours a week, with 12-hour days.