From the Editor: The Alaska Business Corporate 100
Keeping Alaska healthy, happy, and employed
It’s a beautiful month for business. The sun is shining (most of the time), green is peaking out of white, and it’s time for the Corporate 100 at Alaska Business. Life doesn’t get much better. This year we again recognize and honor the state’s largest employers as they persist through a turbulent economy, keeping Alaskans in work and providing the products and services we rely on to keep us warm, fed, and healthy and happy.
Combined, the 2018 Alaska Business Corporate 100 employ 72,899 people in Alaska and 2.4 million worldwide. And though that represents a roughly 18 percent drop compared to last year, when the number of Alaska employees was 89,329, the drop is partially affected by a number of businesses joining or dropping off the list, as well as some changes to employee reporting methods, according to the company-submitted surveys.
In December, Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.3 percent, according to Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development figures, marking the state’s highest unemployment rate since 2012. While that is… well, a less-than-ideal ideal figure, it is just that, a figure. Alaskans know how to roll with the punches and nothing shows that more than the continued opportunities offered by the Corporate 100 and the dozens upon dozens of small businesses throughout the state; factor in the multitude of rural locations in dire need of services and the workers who offer them, and the employment picture becomes a bit brighter.
Alaska always has been and remains a land filled with opportunity—opportunity that all of the businesses on the Corporate 100 recognized and built their successes around. We feature four such companies in profiles in the Corporate 100 Special Section: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alyeska Resort, Foundation Health Partners (operator of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital), and Baker Hughes, a GE Company. From these companies we learn the secret of running a successful organization for decades in Alaska; how to find, train, and retain employees; and how each contributes to its community.
In fact, just about every company on the Corporate 100 is an active member in the communities in which they operate. Whether through charitable donations, free- or low-cost training programs, internships and jobs, scholarship opportunities, or philanthropic efforts that align with the company’s mission and activities, Alaskans are giving. (Check out the Alyeska Resort profile on page 78 to learn about a very cool program designed to help disabled visitors learn to ski.)
We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Every year we are honored by all of the businesses that take the time to fill out the Corporate 100 surveys, subject themselves to grueling Alaska Business profile interviews (associate editor Tasha Anderson is known for her mean streak—we’re talking to HR), and continue to support and uphold our many diverse communities.
And of course, the Corporate 100 is just part of this month’s jam-packed issue focused primarily on employment and human resources. Read all about the employee who has been with telecommunications giant GCI for nearly three decades and expect some surprises from Fairbanks high school students recently surveyed about their dream careers. What fields were they most interested in and where? As they say, “Read all about it!” right here in the April issue of Alaska Business.
—Kathryn Mackenzie, Managing Editor, Alaska Business