Including various islands, Alaska has nearly 34,000 miles of shoreline, according to Fly Alaska. That means there are a lot of opportunities for employment in the maritime sector.
Now a joint program with Vigor Alaska, Maritime Works, and the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) can help Alaskans start what could be a lifelong career in the maritime industry. The program is known as Advancing Alaska Workers and was launched last month.
According to Doug Ward, with Vigor Alaska, one-third of Ketchikan’s workforce enrolled in the new program to take courses at the city’s shipyard.
Ward said that right now, they are hiring entry-level workers and are moving them up to middle-level production skills.
“If you want to, you can continue through project management and get into the corporate offices if that’s your aspiration,” he added.
Sierra Callis, a fitter and welder at Vigor, is currently enrolled in the program. She is taking classes to work on skills she says she is lacking. Callis added that it’s a great feeling to know that her company values her, not just as a worker, but as a person as well.