SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



November 15, 2011
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) announced it is the first entity in Alaska to sponsor the Building Energy Retrofit Technician (BERT) apprenticeship developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship. 


(Left to Right): Robert Boyd, Sam Bergeron, Samson Mullenax 
Photo Credit: Mary Jones 

Robert Boyd and Samson Mullenax were recently indentured and will complete their registered apprenticeship while working for KIC’s Weatherization Program over the next year.  Robert Boyd recently changed careers after working in sales.  He is the son of Claudia Boyd of Saxman.  Samson Mullenax is a recent graduate of Ketchikan High School and the Ketchikan Construction Academy.  He is the son of Harvey Mullenax of Ketchikan.  Both apprentices will complete their on-the-job learning under the tutelage of Sam Bergeron, an experienced journey worker and KIC’s Weatherization Manager. 

“KIC’s leadership in program sponsored apprenticeships, like BERT, is an example of the high-quality vocational training offered by the Southern Southeast Alaska Technical Education Center,” said Chas Edwardson, KIC Workforce Development Director.

Apprenticeships combined on-the-job learning and related technical instruction to ensure workers learn practical and theoretical aspects of their occupation.  The 2,000 hour program will expose apprentices to a variety of work processes including building inspection, diagnostics, retrofitting, building repairs and energy systems.  University of Alaska Southeast will provide 144 hours of related technical instruction for the apprentices during Winter 2012. 

According to John Hakala, State Director for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, “BERT was developed in partnership with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, University of Alaska Southeast Construction Technology program, Tribal Housing Authorities and building contractors.  The goal of the one-year apprenticeship program is to develop a qualified and skilled workforce for home energy efficiency and weatherization programs across the state.”

Weatherization installers and technicians are considered “Bright Outlook” occupations by the U.S. Department of Labor, with projected job growth much faster than the average occupation.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 20%+ increase in weatherization jobs over the period 2008-2018.  Alaskans, exposed to more severe weather conditions, benefit from weatherization services which reduce the cost of energy for families and improve the safety of their homes.


Source of News & Photograph: 

Ketchikan Indian Community


E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2011
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.