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September 2018

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Building on Permafrost

When constructing in the Arctic or near-Arctic regions of the world where permafrost dominates, the adage “If it’s frozen, keep it frozen; if it’s thawed keep it thawed” provides a strong foundation. Doing this, however, is one of the greatest challenges for engineers and construction companies that specialize in building in some of the coldest places on Earth.

Alaska Native Corporations Work at Home

Many of the corporations established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act have engagement in the oilfield beyond roles as stakeholders and resident experts of the Alaska Arctic—they participate in the oilfield through lease-holding, exploration, development, operations, and the many, many support services related to those activities. Being involved in the oil and gas industry directly is both an economic opportunity for residents of the Arctic as well as a method to ensure local knowledge and talent are used for the benefit of the operating companies, the environment, and Alaska as a whole.

Heavy Lifting

It takes a lot of equipment to tame the Last Frontier—from bulldozers and skid loaders to excavators and forklifts, there is no lack of demand for construction equipment. For the companies that provide the machines for these jobs, it also takes a mastery of logistics and a lot of careful planning to make sure that the equipment that drives Alaska is ready and available for work.

Alaska Natives Share Culture, History

Alaska Native corporations have earned positive reputations for their work with government contracting and in the oil and gas industry. However, a number of corporations have balanced and diversified their portfolios with tourism industry assets.

Goldbelt Provides Alaska Expertise on a Global Scale

Goldbelt, Inc. is headquartered in Juneau. It’s an urban Alaska Native Corporation that was formed in 1974, named after a 33,000-acre mineralized zone in Southeast Alaska that stretches along the mainland from Frederick Sound to Berners Bay.

Cash for Community

Philanthropy is a crucial part of the culture at Alaska’s banks and credit unions. Financial institutions such as Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (FCU), First National Bank Alaska, KeyBank, Northrim Bank, and Wells Fargo donate millions of dollars, thousands of volunteer hours, and manifold in-kind gifts annually.

Rock Steady

More than stimulating the Alaska economy through an influx of cash, the mining industry provides much needed jobs to Alaskans living in rural communities. Through partnerships with Alaska Native corporations such as Red Dog Operation and NANA, 55 percent of the 550 year-round jobs at Red Dog are filled by NANA shareholders and NANA companies. And NANA is not the only Alaska Native corporation to take advantage of such partnership opportunities. Iliamna Development Corporation, Calista Corporation, and the Kuskokwim Corporation have all worked to develop businesses that serve the mining sector.

Digitized Trucking

In the trucking industry technological innovations—also referred to as “digitized trucking”—include everything from systems designed to detect and wake tired drivers to semi-autonomous operations to kinetic energy recovery systems, predictive GPS, and electronic log devices. “In some ways, it is a Wild West landscape of the next best thing,” says Paul Carpenter, director of the Heavy Truck and Heavy Construction Equipment Program at Northern Industrial Training (NIT).

Responsible Pain Management

As the opioid crisis deepens in Alaska and the nation, a growing amount of misinformation about the laws, regulations, and recommendations impacting primary physicians and pain management specialists abounds.

Alaska Native Regional Corporation Review

Fiscal year 2017 marked another year of growth for Alaska’s Native Regional Corporations, which brought in billions of dollars to the state and employ tens of thousands of Alaskans. The twelve regional corporations have been busy creating economic opportunities through for-profit enterprises while supporting shareholders through educational opportunities, scholarships, elder benefits, and social and cultural programs.

About the Cover: September 2018

Standing for Business

Several weeks ago Jason Martin, Alaska Business vice president and general manager, strolled into my office with a handful of brochures, asked me to take a look them, and let him know what I think. Being the stellar worker bee I am, I picked up what I thought would be new marketing material or an interesting conference on the horizon, only to find they were all about Ballot Measure 1 (aka Stand for Salmon).
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