The NMA reports that Hecla Mining Co is hard at work training the next generation of job seekers in Alaska. The company, which owns and operates Greens Creek mine in southeast part of the state, has partnered with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to embark on an educational program that trains local high school students for technically focused mining careers.
The program began in 2011 when Hecla donated $300,000 to UAS to create an “Introduction to Mining Occupations and Operations” course for local high school students. This quickly expanded into a program called The Pathway to Mining Careers. “The pathway” begins with an introductory course for high school juniors and seniors and concludes with enrollment in Hecla Greens Creek Mine Academy, where students earn the federally recognized certification required to work at any mine in the United States.
“Our focus here at UAS is to get students interested in careers in mining,” said Graham Neale, the Director of UAS’ Center for Mine Training, and to educate the local Alaska workforce in those skilled positions. We’re interested in casting a wide net to high school students, letting them know about the opportunities available in the mining industry, different types of careers. Speakers talk about how they got to where they are. Health and safety, equipment operations, mechanics – you get it from the horse’s mouth, from those who have walked the walk in the mining industry.”
The results so far have been encouraging—258 students have taken the intro class, 48 advanced to the Hecla Greens Creek Mine Academy, and 15 went on to graduate with a UAS certification in mining.
Juneau – The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has approved the UAS-UAF Joint Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Ocean Sciences with a concentration in Fisheries Science. The new degree is aimed at increasing the number of students who earn an undergraduate fisheries degree in Alaska, and are prepared to work in fisheries industry, management and research positions. The new joint degree program is a direct outcome of the University of Alaska’s Strategic Pathways process–expanding opportunities for students through collaboration between the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) faculty.
Students will be able to complete the 4-year degree at the Auke Lake campus in Juneau, taking required courses locally at UAS and UAF-Lena campus, and remotely through UAF-Fairbanks campus. Fisheries graduates frequently go to work with tribal, state and federal fisheries agencies like the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and NOAA, and in private sector industry jobs. Others enroll in graduate programs in fisheries and ocean sciences. UAS and UAF expect an increase in the number of students that enroll in the fisheries and ocean sciences degrees now that the joint program has been approved. Admission of new students into the program will begin in the spring 2018 semester.
For more information about the UAS-UAF Joint Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Ocean Sciences with a concentration in Fisheries Science, please contact the chair of the Natural Science Department, Dr. Sherry Tamone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, 17th District commander, and University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Rick Caulfield shake hands after signing a memorandum of agreement between the Coast Guard and UAS during a ceremony in Juneau, Alaska, Oct. 2, 2017. The MOA makes UAS the first Alaskan college to host the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert)
On behalf of the Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zunkuft, Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Alaska Southeast, establishing the university as a member of the Coast Guard’s Minority-Serving Institution partnership program.
The purpose of the program is for the Coast Guard to recruit, retain and sustain a ready, diverse and highly skilled workforce.
“Our people are our most important investment, and the Coast Guard must engage and retain the most qualified and inclusively diverse workforce,” said McAllister. “For 150 years, the Coast Guard’s ability to serve and protect Alaska has grown alongside the state’s increasingly prominent role in national sovereignty and maritime commerce. With this MOA we have an opportunity to attract young people that know what it means to live and work on the water.”
Central to this partnership is the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative scholarship program. CSPI is a program designed for motivated individuals who demonstrate high academic and leadership excellence, and desire to serve their country in the United States Coast Guard. Students can apply if they are currently enrolled, accepted for enrollment or pending enrollment in a full-time bachelor’s degree program at Minority-Serving Institutions and have the desire to receive a guaranteed commission as an officer in the United States Coast Guard.
As a lifelong Sitkan I have grown close to our coastal rainforest. As I head off to my first year of college this fall, I know I will miss this place. However, I can’t help but wonder — how much will it change?
Having just graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a boarding school that serves students across Alaska, I have heard many stories of successful hunts and summers spent at fish camp, but I also hear stories of quickly changing ecosystems. Every community in Southeast Alaska depends on natural resources in some way. Whether it’s harvesting wild foods or building homes out of local wood, our people depend on the land. In order to maintain our unique way of life, it is important that rural Alaskans have opportunities to pursue meaningful careers that promote sustainable living and wise management of these resources.
Today, many Southeast Alaskan communities are home to a variety of youth workforce development programs. These programs help prepare the next generation of Alaska’s scientists, field crews, and resource managers with the experiences, drive, and skills to pursue careers in their backyards, whether on the water or in the woods. This summer I visited three of these programs — in Sitka, Klawock, and Kake — to get an inside perspective on the impact they are having on our region.