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Vocational training graduates top 30,000


June 16, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - The state vocational training school at Seward, Alaska has presented nearly 300 diplomas to students completing the latest series of classes, bringing the total number of graduates of the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) to more than 30,000 since the program began in 1969.

The Division of Business Partnerships in the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers AVTEC. The program's mission is to train resident Alaskans for good paying jobs throughout the state's business and industry community.

Commissioner of Labor Greg O'Claray said AVTEC's continuing success supports Governor Frank Murkowski's Alaska Hire Initiative to stimulate good jobs and payrolls for Alaskans.

"Governor Murkowski's top priorities are resource, energy and economic development," O'Claray said. "AVTEC provides hands-on instruction for careers in those fields."

The governor launched the Alaska hire initiative in 2003, encouraging Alaska employers to pledge to achieve a resident workforce of 90 percent or more. Today, more than 1,100 Alaska businesses and organizations have met or exceeded the 90 percent goal.

Some 293 diplomas were awarded at recent AVTEC graduation ceremonies in 15 professional fields.

Graduates were recognized in technology disciplines including Automotive, Business and Office, Diesel and Heavy Equipment, Information and Welding.

Professional careers for which instructional diplomas were presented included Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nurse Assistant, Culinary Arts and Sciences, Facility Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical trades, Industrial Electricity, Merchant Mariner, Pipe Welding, Power Plant Operator and Web Application Developer.

Director Fred Esposito said AVTEC programs and schedules are coordinated with Alaska high schools. This includes a specific goal of filling up to 80 percent of jobs in Alaska that do not require a college or university degree.

The AVTEC campus is in Seward with additional training provided in Anchorage. Remote site training also is available through a distance-delivery program, and Internet classes are being developed.

The next AVTEC enrollment period is scheduled from August 23 - September 13. Programs vary in length from three weeks to ten months. Tuitions range from $1,000 to $2,500 and financial and scholarship assistance is available.

In Fiscal Year 2001, more than 50 percent of AVTEC students were minorities including 27 percent Alaska Native or American Indian. Women generally comprise 30 percent of the AVTEC student body.

The Council on Occupational Education accredits AVTEC. Successful AVTEC graduates may receive up to 23 credits toward associate or bachelor degrees at the University of Alaska.

More AVTEC information is available on the program website, or toll-free at 1-800-478-5389.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Web Site


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