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December 2012


FROM THE EDITOR: 'Tis the Season

FROM THE EDITOR: 'Tis the Season

Holiday parties abound in December, and we've seen a growing trend for a couple of months now.

REGIONAL FOCUS: Valdez-Cordova Census Area Economy

Situated along Prince William Sound, the Valdez-Cordova Census Area encompasses about 40,000 square miles of majestic mountains, glistening glaciers, wetlands and incredible wildlife. Prince William Sound is surrounded by the Chugach National Forest—the second largest National Forest in the country—and contains Columbia Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in Southcentral Alaska.

EDUCATION: Training Alaskans for the Film Industry

One major challenge to the Alaska emerging film industry is getting enough people trained to fill these sporadic positions while not glutting the market with too many trainees and not enough year-round jobs to keep them employed in the industry. Dave Worrell, head of the Alaska Film Office, emphasizes that the state’s economic big picture includes “a mature, sustainable film and television production sector” that provides “good-paying jobs and can help keep creative Alaskans here, instead of having to leave the state to pursue their career goals.”


When it comes to management of lands and natural resources, Alaska Native Corporations face a sometimes uneasy balance of protecting cultural assets while still answering a duty to maximize returns for shareholders and to ensure the ongoing health of the corporation itself.

BUSINESS SERVICES: Revolutionizing Home and Office Work Spaces

Alaska has some of the highest injury rates for administrative and professional personnel, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics. What was once thought of as a relatively safe industry is proving to be more costly to employers with increases in workers’ compensation claims, lost time and insurance premiums.

HR MATTERS: Virtual Employees and Digital Nomads

Occasionally Alaska-based employers retain key employees as digital nomads when talented staff travel or relocate for personal reasons. More often, Alaskan employers create virtual teams because it takes employees in both rural and urban settings to meet a statewide mission.

PHILANTHROPY IN ALASKA: Using Social Media to Flourish

From blogs to social networks, businesses large and small are using a number of social media platforms to increase their visibility and connect to their audiences today. For that reason, social media was the point of discussion at a recent Key4Women forum hosted by KeyBank in Anchorage in September, when nearly 300 guests gathered for useful insights served up by social media experts Dr. Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard of Mindset Digital.

EDUCATION: Hawsepipers and Skill Builders

EDUCATION: Hawsepipers and Skill Builders

Over the last decade, Career and Technical Education in Alaska has experienced a sea of change. Once underfunded and ignored, vocational education has been getting more respect—especially in a state where many of the highest-paid, best-benefited jobs do not require a four-year academic degree. But they may require rigorous training.

PHILANTHROPY IN ALASKA:  PGA Golfer Phil Mickelson and ExxonMobil invest in Alaska’s teachers

PHILANTHROPY IN ALASKA: PGA Golfer Phil Mickelson and ExxonMobil invest in Alaska’s teachers

Twenty-seven Alaskan elementary school teachers from around the state became students for a week at two of the three sessions of the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy held in Jersey City, N.J., and Houston this summer.

PHILANTHROPY IN ALASKA:  Philanthropy through Board Service

PHILANTHROPY IN ALASKA: Philanthropy through Board Service

Anthropologist Margaret Mead is well known for her statement, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” The board of directors for a nonprofit organization epitomizes this kind of group commitment to effect change.

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