immediately for salmon processing jobs
June 26, 2004
An urgent request for 50 workers to immediately fill jobs processing Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is typical of the recruiting calls coming in to the department's Midtown Job Center in Anchorage. The early sockeye run in Bristol Bay usually peaks during the first week of July with processing workers needed at Naknek, Kenai, Ekuk and Cordova.
Labor Commissioner Greg O'Claray encourages young and rural Alaskans, especially, to apply for seasonal processing employment. He said, "These jobs are an opportunity to earn money quickly while building a work history."
The minimum age policy for jobs with many seafood processing companies is age 18 at locations where workers are housed in bunkhouses. Some exceptions allow hiring applicants who are 16 if they have their own housing and are not required to work with knives or machinery.
The majority of processing jobs involve filleting, canning, freezing and value-added preparation of fresh seafood. Typical starting pay is $7.15/hour plus overtime at $10.72/hour.
The Division of Commercial Fisheries in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecasts a 46.6 million sockeye salmon return for Bristol Bay in 2004. A return of that size would exceed the previous 10-year average by 31 percent. Fish and Game projects a 2004 harvest of 34.7 million fish, exceeding the 10-year average by 60 percent.
Employment Specialist Laurie Fuglvog reports that in some cases processors provide room and board for workers and will advance the cost of transportation.
Many workers hired for early salmon runs would like to relocate to other processing locations when their initial contracts are completed. Fuglvog said a Traveling Seafood Workforce Program team will be in Naknek July 6-10 to help with job relocations.
Fuglvog said the heavy demand for workers will continue for five to eight weeks as additional runs and seafood are processed.
Information on seafood processing jobs is available at the 24 Alaska Job Center Network locations statewide or tollfree in Alaska at 1-800-473-0688. Information also is available on state websites at www.jobs.state.ak.us (click on "Seafood Jobs" then "Current Openings" for job locations), and on the Alaska Job Bank website at www.jobs.state.ak.us .
Fuglvog listed 15 locations with 601 job openings seafood processors hope to fill quickly:
Seafood processor openings:
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