By Ruth Golden
Students from southeast Alaska attended Construction Career Day at the Ketchikan shipyard, on Oct. 13. It was an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with welding, surveying, electrical wiring, spike driving, maritime engineering, heavy equipment simulators, and drilling. The event was sponsored by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Civil Rights Office, and the Local Technical Assistance Program.
Most attendees would like to go into a maritime career after high school.
“It was a learning experience,” said Hannah Maxwell. Maxwell is one of the students who wants to go into the Coast Guard when she graduates.
Shawn Sande would also like to go into maritime after high school.
“Maybe for a couple summers to pay for college,” said Sande.”I learned a lot about future jobs.”
Maritime and Construction Careers for Alaskans
A 2004 report the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development found there were over 30,000 people employed in construction-related occupations in Alaska. Out of that, 18,000 construction trade and craft workers have averaged over $59,000 in that year. Construction job growth is expected to increase 15% over the next decade. 50 percent of new construction workers will be Alaskan apprentices.
Alaska is a maritime state and has more miles of coastline than all other U.S. coastal states combined. Alaska’s location in the North Pacific allows it to have economic activity between North America, Europe and Asia.
Many students go outside to the state to get necessary training.
The California Maritime Academy is an academy that boosts students in fields of international business and logistics, marine engineering technology, global studies and maritime affairs, marine transportation, mechanical engineering, and facilities engineering technology.
There is money available, such as the Lund scholarship, for students wishing to pursue this career said Captain Mark E. Lundamo. The scholarships was named after Bill Lund, who advocated for Alaskan maritime students.