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Labor Recognizes Apprenticeship Achievements


JUNEAU, Alaska-Labor Commissioner Click Bishop presented four awards that recognize outstanding achievements toward building a skilled Alaska workforce through registered apprenticeship at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development's third annual Apprenticeship Conference and Awards in Anchorage.

Commissioner Bishop also presented three special recognition awards - one for multicultural outreach program EarnAndLearnAK.org and two for school-to-apprenticeship.

More than 200 attended the conference including employers interested in apprenticeship, sponsors of registered programs, policymakers, trade associations, for-profit and non-profit leaders, and educators. Sessions provided information about this national training system that can increase productivity, and improve the quality of the workforce, by combining paid learning on-the-job and related technical instruction in a skilled occupation.

Employer of the Year
In 2009, registered apprentices made up 22 percent of Swalling Construction Co. Inc.'s workforce. Under Mike Swalling's leadership, the company has also increased the number of women and minorities it has sponsored and employs.

Instructor of the Year
Charlie Engblom is the apprenticeship coordinator for Ironworkers Local 751. During his tenure, training has exceeded national ironworker standards and the number of apprentices has increased 35 percent.

Apprentices of the Year
Sam Paul recently completed the Building Maintenance Repairer apprenticeship program, sponsored by Alaska Works Partnership. Paul lives and works in Kipnuk. Through his job with the AVCP Housing Authority, and challenging himself to become a better craftsman and learn new skills, Paul is an inspiration to younger apprentices and a positive role model.

John Franklin is a final-year sheet metal apprentice who is employed and sponsored by KLEBS Mechanical. A single father of a young son, Franklin is motivated to succeed so that he can provide a stable home. His outstanding work ethic and commitment to quality work make him a leader among the apprentice team.

Special Recognition Awards
Jon Dunham and Norma Lucero in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities' Civil Rights Office partnered with the Alaska Department of Labor to launch a new multilingual Web site on apprenticeship training to encourage more young people from different ethnic backgrounds, many in homes with non-English-speaking parents, to get into training programs. The EarnAndLearnAK.org site also encourages businesses to recruit a more culturally diverse workforce through apprenticeship.

Craig Mapes, a construction technology instructor for 20 years, has been instrumental in working with School to Apprenticeship agreements at Juneau Douglas High School. Under the agreements, the school district has aligned construction courses with the University of Alaska, which allows his students to receive college credit through tech prep agreements and transition to apprenticeship with advanced placement.

Loken Construction, Anchorage School District's King Career Center and Alaska Department of Labor's Career Guides. Tyler Loken understands the value an apprenticeship program has for his construction company and Alaska's future workforce. Loken Construction is the first company in Alaska to use the Alaska Department of Labor's career guides at the King Career Center to register a school-to-apprenticeship program. The commercial carpentry program is an 8,000-hour apprenticeship registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Information About Apprenticeship

Think Apprenticeship!

Earn and Learn Alaska

Alaska Economic Trends, February 2009
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