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New director named for UA’s Mining and Petroleum Training Service

The University of Alaska has hired Bill Bieber as director of the Mining and Petroleum Training Service, or MAPTS.  “Bill has an impressive 34-year history in the mining and petroleum industries in Alaska and Montana. He’s been a roughneck, EMT and laborer who worked his way up to operations, human resources and safety management positions at Barrick Gold Corp., Teck-Pogo Inc. and Placer Dome Exploration Inc.,” said Fred Villa, associate vice president for UA’s workforce programs. 

“At Barrick Gold, Bill oversaw seven consecutive years without a lost time accident. We’re fortunate to have a professional with Bill’s depth and breadth of experience to oversee MAPTS.”  Bieber started July 1. He replaces Dennis Steffy, who recently retired after running MAPTS since the university created it in 1979.  MAPTS has offices in Soldotna, Juneau and Anchorage, which serve the entire state.  MAPTS is one of the university’s premiere workforce training programs, having trained more than 100,000 students in everything from underground mine safety to oil and gas drilling technology. Other courses include well control certification, oil spill response training, hazardous materials and emergency response, hazardous waste operator training, underground entry-level miner training, drillers roustabout training and heavy equipment simulator training for the underground mining industry. 

“MAPTS has a long history of excellent workforce training, in large part due to the dedication and hard work of Dennis Steffy,” Bieber said. “My focus is to take MAPTS to the next level by creating a more dynamic and diverse program that encompasses both compliance and skills-based training.  MAPTS will build a culture of success in both the classroom and the industrial job site, with the goal of putting qualified Alaskans to work.”

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