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New Workforce Plan to Meet Alaska Workforce Shortages

Mar 28, 2024 | Education, Government, News

Pressmaster | Envato

The Alaska Safety Alliance and the State of Alaska, with support from the Denali Commission, have drafted a cross-industry workforce development plan to address critical labor shortages.

A Plan to Fill Jobs, Boost the Economy

More than 10,000 posted jobs are unfilled in Alaska today, yet the state’s economy is growing. An estimated 5,400 new jobs will be created in 2024 and more than 5,000 will be created in 2025. Alaska is poised for more than $20 billion in new infrastructure and resource development projects by 2030. An additional 20,000 new workers may be needed to complete those projects.

“Alaska is on the verge of a new period of economic growth, we want to ensure that the State of Alaska is positioned to work alongside industry to capitalize on this new period of growth,” says Governor Mike Dunleavy. “For this reason, I have directed the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to partner on this new workforce plan with industry leaders so that we’re meeting our current challenges together.”

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Alaska Business July 2024 Cover

July 2024

The document called Workforce 2030 – The Alaska Plan has four stated objectives:

  • Develop a workforce compatible with the diverse needs of Alaska’s employers and the workers.
  • Build talent pipelines that recruit, educate, and train Alaskans for occupations in high demand.
  • Reduce the outmigration of Alaska talent.
  • Strengthen economic development through workforce development in every region.

An Industry Advisory Council (IAC) guides strategic planning, composed of members from the air transportation, trucking, maritime, oil and gas, construction, telecommunications, mining, property management, and healthcare industries, as well as education and government representatives. The IAC has designated communication and collaboration among employers, educators, and government agencies as a top priority.

A new Workforce 2030 website, alaskaworkforce.org, serves as an information and communication platform for employers, associations, educators, workers, and the public.

The IAC is forming interest groups to engage industry associations, economic development organizations, Alaska Native corporations, tribes, secondary and postsecondary educators, organized labor, state and local government employers, and others in the planning process. Discussions and exchanges with a diverse range of interested parties will be held statewide. The interest groups will provide information about workforce needs, effective workforce development programs, talent pipeline best practices, and specific action steps industry and government can take to close skills gaps and fill jobs.

Additional information about the interest groups, as well as workforce challenges, planning activities, relevant state and national workforce development research reports, and Alaska’s industry sector workforce plans is available on the website. The website will also serve as a platform for public forums and surveys.

The final Workforce 2030 Plan will examine the current workforce landscape, project industry job growth, determine which occupations will be most in demand, and assess the potential labor demand from infrastructure and resource development projects. It will also analyze public employee labor supply gaps, trends in working age resident outmigration, state and regional training capacity, and ways to scale up education and training programs and develop new programs to close skills gaps.

Employer feedback is crucial as the plan is being developed. The state encourages employers to participate in an online Employer Survey.

Alaska Business Magazine July 2024 cover
In This Issue
Best of Alaska Business 2024
July 2024
Welcome to the 2024 Best of Alaska Business special section! For the ninth time we invited our readers to tell us which Alaska businesses they love the most, this year in forty-four categories. Throughout the month of March, you told us who should be featured in these pages, and we're thrilled to be able to publish the results.
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