Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions


Vocational training center reaccredited,
achieves 90 percent goal for Alaska hire


December 02, 2003
Tuesday 12:45 am

A model state vocational technical school has received a full six-year reaccreditation to train Alaskans for professional careers.

The Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) was reauthorized for the maximum term allowed by the national Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The Division of Business Partnership in the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers AVTEC.

Commissioner of Labor Greg O'Claray said AVTEC achieved a 90 percent job placement rate in 2002. "That's a great benchmark for us to strive to match with the Alaska hire initiative. You can't beat first-class training and good paychecks that stay in Alaska."

Governor Frank Murkowski launched the Alaska hire initiative in November, calling on Alaska employers to set and achieve a payroll goal of 90 percent or more resident workers.

AVTEC provides classroom instruction and hands-on training for a broad range of jobs including U.S. Coast Guard licensed and documented maritime careers.

Other AVTEC vocational training includes hospitality and food service, building maintenance, construction, refrigeration, power and bulk fuel plant operations; industrial electrical, pipe welding, diesel and heavy equipment trades; automotive technology, practical nursing and nurses assistant, computer and network support, web development, accounting and administrative assistant positions.

Director Fred Esposito points to AVTEC's maritime vocation program as a successful example of how to train Alaskans for well-paid jobs: "We're turning out 'success stories,' graduates prepared for rewarding, well-paying careers aboard the big tankers, fish processors and vessels of the Alaska Marine Highway System."

Esposito added, "The professional chefs we're graduating from the culinary arts program are a success story as well. They're right up there on par with culinary academy graduates in the Lower 48."
The director said the AVTEC reaccreditation required a weeklong site evaluation. The inspection team carried out a detailed review of each training program including confirmation that instructors met all certification requirements.

"Reaccreditation for six years is far from a 'routine' procedure," Esposito said. "The maximum term of reauthorization recognizes that an AVTEC graduate receives training that more than meets national requirements. He or she has successfully completed a vocational program that exceeds the most rigorous standards."

O'Claray said the administration's Alaska hire initiative confirms the importance of AVTEC's success: "The reaction to this initiative is strong and clear and it's generating real support and action by employers."

The Sunday, November 23 edition of the Anchorage Daily News devoted a 500-word editorial to the governor's call for Alaska hire. The opinion piece, "Local hire needs work," reported that Governor Murkowski launched the Alaska Hire Initiative earlier this month and added, "Good for him."

The editorial continued, in part, "Use the governor's jawboning ­ enthusiastically ­ in clear cases where companies are somehow prejudiced about or unwilling to hire well-qualified Alaskans. And bend state efforts to providing effective vocational training programs."

AVTEC is based in Seward with an adjacent on-campus Alaska Job Center. The program also has a campus in Anchorage offering vocational training for certified nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses.

More information about AVTEC is available on the agency's 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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