Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

02/17/2015 10:00 AM House FISHERIES

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10:00:43 AM Start
10:01:37 AM Presentation(s): Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan
10:58:00 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview & Presentation: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                       February 17, 2015                                                                                        
                           10:00 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Louise Stutes, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Bob Herron                                                                                                       
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  ALASKA MARITIME WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
KRISTINE NOROSZ, Director                                                                                                       
Government Affairs                                                                                                              
Icicle Seafoods                                                                                                                 
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the Alaska Maritime Workforce                                                               
Development Plan.                                                                                                               
JULIE DECKER, Executive Director                                                                                                
Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, Inc. (AFDF)                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the Alaska Maritime Workforce                                                               
Development Plan.                                                                                                               
MATT ALWARD, Vice President                                                                                                     
Homer Marine Trades Association                                                                                                 
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-presented the Alaska  Maritime Workforce                                                             
Development Plan.                                                                                                               
DOUG WARD, Director                                                                                                             
Ship Yard Development                                                                                                           
Vigor Industrial LLC                                                                                                            
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-presented the Alaska  Maritime Workforce                                                             
Development Plan.                                                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
10:00:43 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  LOUISE  STUTES  called  the  House  Special  Committee  on                                                             
Fisheries meeting  to order at 10:00  a.m. Representatives Stutes                                                               
and Ortiz were present at the call to order.                                                                                    
^PRESENTATION(S):  Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan                                                                   
           Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan                                                                       
10:01:37 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES announced  that the  only  order of  business is  a                                                               
presentation of the Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan.                                                                 
10:02:13 AM                                                                                                                   
KRISTINE NOROSZ,  Director, Government Affairs,  Icicle Seafoods,                                                               
began  a PowerPoint  presentation entitled,  "Sustaining Alaska's                                                               
Communities and Economy  through Maritime Workforce Development."                                                               
She said Alaska is as a  maritime state and the maritime industry                                                               
includes both onshore and offshore  activities (slide 2).  People                                                               
are employed in seafood harvesting  and processing; sport charter                                                               
businesses;  fisheries  research,  management,  and  enhancement;                                                               
marine  transportation; marine  support  industries serving  ship                                                               
and boat  design, construction, and  repair; and  stevedoring and                                                               
longshoring.  Maritime is a  complex and global industry engaging                                                               
both large and small businesses  and agencies that can be unaware                                                               
of each  other's value to  their enterprise.  The  seafood sector                                                               
alone contributes over  $6 billion a year in total  impact to the                                                               
state of Alaska, so it can  be concluded that the contribution of                                                               
the entire  maritime industry is  much higher.   Alaska's economy                                                               
is  also highly  reliant on  marine transportation  and services.                                                               
Almost all  of Alaska's food  and household goods comes  north by                                                               
container ship, while the state's  major exports of crude oil and                                                               
seafood products travel  south on these same ships.   Jobs in the                                                               
seafood, marine  transportation, and other maritime  sectors form                                                               
the economic  backbone of many  Alaska communities.   The state's                                                               
marine highway system  operates ferries that are  integral to the                                                               
livelihood of  all of Alaska's  coastal communities,  moving both                                                               
people and goods all over the  state.  Both Native and non-Native                                                               
Alaskans depend strongly  on the marine environment  for food and                                                               
recreation, and subsistence harvest is  a unique part of Alaska's                                                               
economy and culture.  Occupations  in the maritime industry range                                                               
from the  professional in  the office to  the skilled  trade jobs                                                               
found on the  ground and on the  water.  These jobs  can be found                                                               
in  every   community  along   Alaska's  rivers   and  coastline,                                                               
including  Anchorage.     These   businesses  range   from  large                                                               
employers such  as the Alaska  Department of Fish &  Game (ADF&G)                                                               
and  seafood processers  to thousands  of small  proprietorships,                                                               
including  fishermen,   marine  fabricators,  and   other  marine                                                               
support operations.                                                                                                             
10:05:03 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. NOROSZ noted  that until now these occupations  have not been                                                               
characterized  as  a  unique and  related  workforce  (slide  3).                                                               
Collectively,  the  maritime  industry  is  the  largest  private                                                               
employer in Alaska with over  68,000 workers with over 500 firms.                                                               
Examples  of   the  maritime  workforce  by   sub-sector  include                                                               
commercial  fishing,  sportfish  guiding,  water  transportation,                                                               
boat building  and repair, marine engineering,  and numerous jobs                                                               
with different  state and  federal agencies.   She  recalled that                                                               
during his  State of  the State  address, Governor  Walker talked                                                               
about putting  Alaskans to work  in career occupations as  a high                                                               
priority of  his administration.   Resident hire in  some sectors                                                               
of   the  maritime   economy   is   high,  reflecting   localized                                                               
demographics  while  other sectors  and  areas  struggle to  find                                                               
adequate  numbers  of  Alaskans  wanting  to,  or  qualified  to,                                                               
perform  the work  required.   The  goal of  the Alaska  Maritime                                                               
Workforce Development Plan is to  connect businesses operating in                                                               
Alaska  with resident  Alaskans who  are skilled,  knowledgeable,                                                               
and desire careers in rewarding and challenging occupations.                                                                    
MS.  NOROSZ  noted  that marine  career  opportunities  currently                                                               
abound in Alaska.   The Arctic is a maritime  environment that is                                                               
commanding more focus  daily.  A recently released  report by the                                                               
McDowell Group, "Ties that Bind,"  describes the value of all the                                                               
goods and  services exported from  Puget Sound coming  to Alaska.                                                               
These Alaska  imports represent the opportunity  to diversify and                                                               
strengthen  the state's  economy  through value-added  activities                                                               
currently  performed in  the Lower  48.   To identify  high-value                                                               
careers   available  to   Alaska   residents,  a   private/public                                                               
partnership was  formed to create  the Alaska  Maritime Workforce                                                               
Development Plan  (slide 4).   This 18-month effort  that engaged                                                               
hundreds  of Alaskans  in defining  the needs  and priorities  to                                                               
develop a globally collective maritime workforce.                                                                               
10:07:30 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. NOROSZ stated  that the goals of this plan  (slide 5) are to:                                                               
develop a  responsive workforce that keeps  the maritime industry                                                               
and  economy strong;  guide Alaska's  workforce  to discover  and                                                               
prepare for  these jobs; and  increase the number of  Alaskans in                                                               
skilled  maritime  occupations.     The  plan  was  created  with                                                               
guidance  from  industry,  the University  of  Alaska,  and  many                                                               
others (slides  6-7).  The  task at hand  now is to  identify and                                                               
develop the  best workforce development and  investment practices                                                               
to create a resilient workforce  capable of competing in a global                                                               
economy.     The  members  of   the  Alaska   Maritime  Workforce                                                               
Development Industry  Advisory Committee are committing  time and                                                               
resource to accomplish this task.   Elected officials, five state                                                               
agencies, the University of Alaska,  and the Rasmussen Foundation                                                               
have also  provided support  for this plan.   The  university has                                                               
allocated legislatively  directed funds  to this effort  and many                                                               
hours of staff time.   With support from industry countless hours                                                               
have been  dedicated to creation of  this plan.  An  even greater                                                               
effort is  going to be  required to  implement it and  with fewer                                                               
resources  available.    As  public  resources  decline,  today's                                                               
tumultuous  economy   is  driving  advances  in   technology  and                                                               
production,  requiring an  adaptive  and  informed workforce  and                                                               
workforce investment system for Alaska to be competitive.                                                                       
MS.  NOROSZ  pointed  out  that the  challenge  to  defining  and                                                               
preparing  Alaska's  maritime  workforce is  represented  by  the                                                               
complexity  implied  by  the  chart   on  slide  8.    The  chart                                                               
illustrates that it's  not a linear progression as  a person goes                                                               
on a  career path in the  maritime industry, but rather  a web of                                                               
cross-cutting skills that allow a  person to go in many different                                                               
directions.   The  skills, knowledge,  and abilities  required to                                                               
successfully  perform   in  the   maritime  work  world   can  be                                                               
transferred  across  a  spectrum  of  Alaska  resource-based  and                                                               
energy-based  industries.     An  enduring  workforce  investment                                                               
system  must  cut  across economic,  geographic,  jurisdictional,                                                               
seasonal, and cultural boundaries  to respond to Alaska's diverse                                                               
and demanding workplace.                                                                                                        
10:10:22 AM                                                                                                                   
JULIE  DECKER, Executive  Director, Alaska  Fisheries Development                                                               
Foundation, Inc.  (AFDF), reported  that surveys of  the maritime                                                               
sub-sectors were  conducted during  development of  the workforce                                                               
plan  to  identify  the high  demand/high  priority  occupations.                                                               
High  demand/priority is  where there  is  a need  today to  fill                                                               
workers  in positions.   The  priority occupations  identified in                                                               
the seafood harvesting sub-sector  (slide 9) include [commercial]                                                               
seafood harvesters (both permit  holders and crewmembers), vessel                                                               
repair and maintenance service  providers, and shellfish farmers.                                                               
She added  that many fisherman  are workers in vessel  repair and                                                               
maintenance during  the off-season.   She  also noted  that while                                                               
there is  not a high need  for shellfish farmers today,  there is                                                               
potential  for  high  growth  in   the  future.    Nine  priority                                                               
occupations were identified in  the seafood processing sub-sector                                                               
(slide 10),  many of which  have overlaps with  other industries.                                                               
Priority  occupations  were  also  identified  in  the  research,                                                               
enhancement, and  management sub-sector (slide 11),  a sub-sector                                                               
that  is vitally  important to  the  seafood industry.   To  have                                                               
fisheries, there  must be managers and  research, and enhancement                                                               
has  also  become  a  huge  component  of  that.    Many  of  the                                                               
aforementioned  priority occupations  are highly  trained, higher                                                               
paid,  year  round, positions  in  Alaska's  communities.   Other                                                               
priority occupations  were identified  in the  marine occupations                                                               
and   support   industries   sub-sector,   which   includes   the                                                               
occupations  of ship  building;  vessel  operations -  deckhands,                                                               
vessel   engineers,  and   captains;   and   vessel  repair   and                                                               
maintenance service providers.                                                                                                  
10:13:56 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. DECKER discussed  the five overall strategies for  how to get                                                               
to  the final  goal of  employing more  Alaskans in  the maritime                                                               
industry  and  in these  high  priority  occupations (slide  13).                                                               
Many of these  overall strategies are also employed  in the other                                                               
industries  that have  workforce development  plans, such  as oil                                                               
and gas,  health care, and  mining.   One overall strategy  is to                                                               
grow  awareness  of  maritime   occupations  and  develop  career                                                               
pathways (slide  14).  This  includes working within  the state's                                                               
school system  and in areas  where there  are folks who  have the                                                               
skills  and may  be  interested,  such as  veterans.   Two  other                                                               
overall strategies are to improve  workforce readiness (slide 15)                                                               
and to train Alaskans for  maritime careers through the education                                                               
system and technical training organizations  (slide 16).  Another                                                               
overall strategy  is supporting recruitment and  retention (slide                                                               
17), which  is common  to the  other workforce  development plans                                                               
that already  exist.   Lastly, an  important overall  strategy is                                                               
promoting sustained  industry engagement  (slide 18).   Workforce                                                               
activities are  most effective  when the  industry is  sitting at                                                               
the table and  saying how education programs can  be aligned with                                                               
industry's needs.   How to promote  sustained industry engagement                                                               
has  been a  theme for  the Industry  Advisory Committee  and the                                                               
committee  is continuing  to talk  about a  structure for  how to                                                               
move  that forward  long  term.   The  University  of Alaska  has                                                               
provided support to  the committee's efforts and  industry is now                                                               
looking forward within its own structures.                                                                                      
10:18:02 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. DECKER  addressed implementing the Alaska  Maritime Workforce                                                               
Development  Plan (slide  19).   She  said  the Alaska  Fisheries                                                               
Development  Foundation  is  exploring  the idea  of  helping  to                                                               
create this  new structure  for the  statewide industry  input as                                                               
the plan  rolls out and is  implemented.  She noted  she lives in                                                               
Wrangell and is on the Wrangell  Assembly.  Wrangell has a marine                                                               
service center  with two  boat haul-outs and  over the  last 5-10                                                               
years the state  has generously helped in the building  of a good                                                               
infrastructure there.   To help  build that out, Wrangell  is now                                                               
working with the  Economic Develop Committee and  staff, the high                                                               
school shop teacher, and the  marine service center businesses to                                                               
identify what  the businesses need for  workforce development and                                                               
to help  make those  happen in conjunction  with the  high school                                                               
shop  teacher.   Some excellent  things  are coming  out of  that                                                               
simple collaboration  on a  local level.   For example,  the high                                                               
school shop  teacher was  able to purchase  and get  running some                                                               
high-tech equipment:  computers are  being used to cut pieces for                                                               
the shipyard that the businesses  in the community are purchasing                                                               
from the high school shop class.   Efforts are being made to link                                                               
these  small local  efforts  to regional  efforts  and then  look                                                               
statewide for how to work together.                                                                                             
MS. NOROSZ added that since the  plan has come out, some training                                                               
opportunities have been increased  in quality control and ammonia                                                               
refrigeration, and  doing that with  vessel repair is  also being                                                               
looked at.   The  Industry Advisory  Committee continues  to meet                                                               
and work groups are working  on some of the priority occupations.                                                               
The University  of Alaska has put  in a Tier 1  grant application                                                               
to  the Rasmussen  Foundation to  create some  videos for  use in                                                               
high schools about career awareness.                                                                                            
10:21:06 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  NOROSZ,  responding  to Representative  Ortiz,  stated  that                                                               
68,000 jobs are attributed to the maritime sector.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ remarked that that  is a significant part of                                                               
the  economy  and  workforce.     Regarding  development  of  the                                                               
workforce  and the  programs to  do  that, he  asked whether  Ms.                                                               
Norosz thinks  that this  effort is  being felt  coastally across                                                               
the state or is limited to specific communities.                                                                                
MS. NOROSZ  replied there  are some  real specific  examples that                                                               
are going on in different communities.   A lot of things are also                                                               
going on in terms of  regional training centers and University of                                                               
Alaska campuses  and some  of the  high schools.   Part of  it is                                                               
just becoming  aware of what others  are doing and trying  to get                                                               
everybody collaborating  and working in alignment  so everyone is                                                               
pulling in  the same direction  and so nothing is  duplicative or                                                               
inefficient within the system.   If everyone is in alignment with                                                               
the plan, it can then be  figured out what the best practices are                                                               
and use those  systems in other parts of the  state and reach the                                                               
plan goals faster.  With  declining revenues, it is realized that                                                               
no monies  will be received  to implement this, so  everyone must                                                               
work  smarter and  one way  to do  that is  for everybody  to get                                                               
behind the plan.                                                                                                                
10:23:37 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ noted  he comes from the  field of education                                                               
in public high  schools.  Regarding Ms.  Decker's statement about                                                               
simple collaboration  at the local  level, he said he  knows that                                                               
sometimes it  is not  so simple to  get connected  and integrated                                                               
into the  public school  system.  He  inquired whether  there has                                                               
been an openness in this  regard in the different communities and                                                               
school districts around the coastal areas.                                                                                      
MS. NOROSZ responded  that that is a hard thing  to answer.  This                                                               
month is Career Technical Education  (CTE) Month and it was found                                                               
in some areas that there is a  lot of emphasis on getting kids to                                                               
four-year degree programs.   However, there are a lot  of jobs in                                                               
Alaska  that  aren't geared  to  four-year  college degree  jobs.                                                               
There is  a wide variety  of jobs  and many take  hands-on skills                                                               
that  cannot  be  done in  an  office  or  on  a computer.    The                                                               
diversity of jobs  in Alaska needs to be recognized  and to cater                                                               
training and education to meet that  variety of needs.  A lot was                                                               
learned in  the process of  doing this  plan.  The  University of                                                               
Alaska did  an inventory of all  its classes that are  related in                                                               
any  way  to  the  maritime industries  and  the  university  was                                                               
surprised at  the depth and  breadth of  the classes that  it was                                                               
offering.  Many  of the people involved are  still learning about                                                               
what the regional training centers  provide.  For high schools it                                                               
is  highly  variable and  probably  dependent  on the  particular                                                               
philosophy of the local school board  as to what degree the board                                                               
is pushing  workforce development.   Career  awareness is  a high                                                               
priority for the  workforce development plan.  That  can start in                                                               
elementary  school and  continue throughout  people's careers  at                                                               
any age.   Sometimes a  person doesn't understand how  the skills                                                               
he or  she has might be  applied to other occupations  or how the                                                               
skills  a  person  wants  to  learn  could  be  applied  to  many                                                               
different occupations.   It all starts with  career awareness and                                                               
the opportunities that  abound in Alaska.  The  Arctic is getting                                                               
more and more  attention and that will continue to  grow, but the                                                               
plan  talks  about jobs  that  are  available  right now  in  the                                                               
maritime  industries  and  where  there is  a  real  shortage  of                                                               
skilled workers.                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER added  that the issue of high schools  and the variety                                                               
within  communities is  really important,  along with  how it  is                                                               
approached  statewide.   When  working  together  on a  statewide                                                               
level,  there is  the potential  to  look at  things like  school                                                               
policy  and  doing things  with  the  school counselors  and  the                                                               
career awareness  piece rolls into that.   She said she  likes to                                                               
use the  phrase "blue collar,  high dollar jobs" because  this is                                                               
what is really  being looked at.  Sometimes there  is a bias that                                                               
those aren't  really good jobs, but  they are good jobs  and they                                                               
are high dollar jobs.                                                                                                           
10:28:23 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES inquired  whether the  Industry Advisory  Committee                                                               
has informational booths or presentations  at fish expositions or                                                               
trade fairs to get the word  out.  Speaking from Kodiak, she said                                                               
many young people go to the ComFish Alaska trade show.                                                                          
MS. NOROSZ advised that the plan  just came out in May and agreed                                                               
that  that is  a  good  suggestion.   The  advisory committee  is                                                               
getting  the  word out  by  addressing  many different  types  of                                                               
groups,  such as  rotaries, chambers  of  commerce, school  board                                                               
gatherings,  and superintendent  conferences,  as  well as  using                                                               
social  media.   A web  site has  been established  that includes                                                               
links  with  the Department  of  Labor  & Workforce  Development,                                                               
Alaska  Department of  Fish  &  Game, and  the  university.   The                                                               
advisory committee  is doing  everything it can  to get  the word                                                               
out and is always open to more suggestions.                                                                                     
CHAIR  STUTES  commented  that   she  would  think  the  advisory                                                               
committee would  want to  go where  the young  people are,  and a                                                               
chamber  of  commerce  meeting  isn't it.    She  suggested,  for                                                               
example,  that   high  schools  could  be   targeted  outside  of                                                               
basketball games.                                                                                                               
MS.  NOROSZ replied  that the  reason she  mentioned chambers  of                                                               
commerce is because  it is incumbent upon  the advisory committee                                                               
to  let employers  know  what is  going on  because  not all  the                                                               
employers  have  been  involved  in developing  this  plan.    If                                                               
chambers  of  commerce  are  aware, they  may  be  interested  in                                                               
establishing some  internship or  apprenticeship programs.   They                                                               
can learn  how they  can become  more involved  so that  they can                                                               
find the  skilled workers they need.   It is about  awareness for                                                               
both the potential employee and the employers.                                                                                  
CHAIR STUTES agreed it is community awareness.                                                                                  
10:30:46 AM                                                                                                                   
MATT  ALWARD, Vice  President, Homer  Marine Trades  Association,                                                               
noted his  association is made up  of about 70 members  in marine                                                               
trades businesses.   The association was originally  formed as an                                                               
advertising collective  to promote  Homer as a  place to  do boat                                                               
work and bring  vessels.  But, as the businesses  started to grow                                                               
they quickly realized  they had no local workforce  to draw from.                                                               
So, workforce  development, career  awareness, became one  of the                                                               
association's  missions.   The first  thing  the association  did                                                               
with its  limited funds  was create a  scholarship of  $1,000 for                                                               
high school students  as well as community members  wanting to go                                                               
to  vocational school  with plans  of coming  back to  Homer with                                                               
those skills.   This year  is the  third year of  the scholarship                                                               
and the hope  is to expand it.  The  second thing the association                                                               
did was career  awareness by getting together  with shop teachers                                                               
at  the Homer  high  school.   Given  the  association's lack  of                                                               
funds,  it  knew  it  couldn't   make  a  new  program,  but  the                                                               
association was invited to speak  at the Focus on Learning class.                                                               
For six  Fridays in a row  the association had a  different trade                                                               
business meet with  kids to explain where they can  go with skill                                                               
development in a trade.  So  far there have been fifteen students                                                               
and a positive  response.  The association  is emphasizing things                                                               
that  kids relate  to,  such  as how  computer  skills relate  to                                                               
vessel building, maintenance, and repair.                                                                                       
10:33:13 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES asked what kinds of businesses were at the classes.                                                                
MR. ALWARD responded  the first class was a  general overview and                                                               
included  a presentation  by the  owner of  a local  boat repair,                                                               
painting, and hauling business about  how local young people with                                                               
a  commercial  driver's  license  haul  boats  for  him.    Other                                                               
presenters were people  who graduated from the  Homer high school                                                               
and who now have their  own fishing businesses; they talked about                                                               
entry  level  local  fishing  opportunities.    A  diesel  engine                                                               
repairman  brought  in an  engine  and  demonstrated how  today's                                                               
engines are computer  controlled and let the  kids run diagnostic                                                               
tests.   This showed the kids  that to be a  diesel mechanic they                                                               
have to have computer skills.   A local boat builder came in with                                                               
the  three-dimensional  modeling,  which  really  got  the  kids'                                                               
attention.  Presentations were also  provided on electronics, net                                                               
building,  and  lines  and  riggings.   From  these  classes  the                                                               
association  hopes to  get  a good  sense of  what  the kids  are                                                               
interested  in,  and  how  many,  and as  phase  two,  take  that                                                               
information  to the  school board  to get  permission to  develop                                                               
more  comprehensive  programs that  will  get  these kids  actual                                                               
skills that they could take to a  workplace or carry them on to a                                                               
vocational  school.   The association  also became  involved with                                                               
the Kenai  Peninsula College (KPC)  when the college  invited the                                                               
association to create a class  that the college would facilitate.                                                               
The  association  began with  eight  classes  that are  two-hours                                                               
long.   The classes include  all the different basic  skills that                                                               
are  needed  for someone  wanting  to  get into  fishing,  marine                                                               
transportation,  or  an on-the-water  job.    Each of  the  eight                                                               
classes  was  sponsored by  a  different  marine trade  that  was                                                               
responsible for the curriculum and for teaching the class.                                                                      
CHAIR STUTES  inquired as to what  skills are needed to  get into                                                               
the marine industry.                                                                                                            
MR. ALWARD  answered that first  is getting  a real idea  of what                                                               
working  on a  boat  is  actually like  because  it  can be  very                                                               
romantic but  there are many parts  of it that are  not.  Another                                                               
is understanding  the legal  relationships between  vessel master                                                               
and crew.  There are also  basic line and rigging skills, safety,                                                               
engine skills, and hydraulic, electrical, and system skills.                                                                    
10:36:28 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ asked whether  the aforementioned classes in                                                               
Homer were part  of a career class that was  already in place and                                                               
the association was granted some  slots in that class, or whether                                                               
it was a special class that kids voluntarily came to.                                                                           
MR. ALWARD replied that the  Focus on Learning class is something                                                               
the high  school already had  and many times  it is just  a study                                                               
hall.    So,  it  is  an   open  period  and  was  something  the                                                               
association could  come to.   In  the 1980s  the high  school had                                                               
some good programs that have  since gone away, so the association                                                               
is re-creating in that regard.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ understood the plan  is to get feedback from                                                               
the  students  and then  implement  an  actual class  within  the                                                               
school schedule.                                                                                                                
MR. ALWARD confirmed that is the goal.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ asked  whether significant  equipment would                                                               
need to be funded to get that class going.                                                                                      
MR.  ALWARD responded  it would  depend on  what the  association                                                               
comes up with.   Right now the high school  has a welding program                                                               
that funds itself  by building trailers and  auctioning them off.                                                               
It isn't  yet at the level  of Wrangell where the  high school is                                                               
actually working for  industry, but that is a goal.   Since it is                                                               
known  more  teachers  cannot  be  funded, the  plan  is  to  get                                                               
industry involved by having industry  experts come into the class                                                               
and teach the skills.                                                                                                           
10:38:18 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES inquired  whether  the association  is hoping  that                                                               
these will be credited courses.                                                                                                 
MR. ALWARD answered "eventually,"  and explained that the college                                                               
classes are two-hour classes so they  are not credited.  The cost                                                               
is $25  a class and the  classes are being promoted  to the whole                                                               
community, including the  high school.  At the  high school class                                                               
the association is giving out  four $25 certificates to encourage                                                               
the kids  to take the  next step and  go to the  college classes.                                                               
Responding further to Chair Stutes,  he confirmed there are about                                                               
15 kids  per class at the  high school, many of  whom are already                                                               
in the shop class.   While it is hard to  judge during the class,                                                               
the  kids  are  actually  paying  attention  and  do  ask  a  few                                                               
questions and  the feedback from  the shop teacher is  that there                                                               
is a lot of buzz.                                                                                                               
10:39:36 AM                                                                                                                   
DOUG WARD, Director, Shipyard  Development, Vigor Industrial LLC,                                                               
noted  that  Vigor  Alaska  operates  the  Ketchikan  and  Seward                                                               
shipyards.   He  said he  has  been with  the Ketchikan  shipyard                                                               
since  1994 when  he  and  Randy Johnson  started  Alaska Ship  &                                                               
Drydock to bring life back to  the shipyard which had been closed                                                               
for  several years.    He  and Mr.  Johnson  had  the unique  and                                                               
beneficial advantage  of not knowing anything  about the business                                                               
before they  started.  As  a result of  that, he and  Mr. Johnson                                                               
did not  have a lot  of the biases that  are built into  the U.S.                                                               
shipbuilding industrial  base, which  has been  uninterrupted for                                                               
250  years.   He added  that he  chairs the  governor's Workforce                                                               
Investment  Board and  he  has been  on that  board  for over  15                                                               
years.  Workforce has been an  important part of the planning for                                                               
the  Ketchikan  shipyard  and  that   has  been  built  into  the                                                               
company's development  plans.  He explained  that in shipbuilding                                                               
there  is a  lot of  global benchmarking  and comparison  of best                                                               
industrial practices  to develop  efficiencies and  build vessels                                                               
faster, better,  and cheaper.   In 1995  he became  involved with                                                               
the  National  Shipbuilding  Research  Program  (NSRP)  which  is                                                               
funded by  the U.S.  Navy to  identify competitive  weaknesses in                                                               
the  U.S.  industrial  base  and   then  have  shipbuilders  make                                                               
recommendations and  come up with solutions  to those competitive                                                               
disadvantages.   One of  the first things  he became  involved in                                                               
with  the  NSRP  was  developing  national  skill  standards  for                                                               
shipbuilding and the common question  from education is, "What is                                                               
it you need for us to  teach?"  Now the shipbuilding industry has                                                               
national skill  standards that are based  on production processes                                                               
rather than occupations.  By  focusing on production processes it                                                               
is possible  to see those  skills and  key tasks that  cut across                                                               
all of the industrial processes and  when it gets to education it                                                               
can be  said that what  is being asked  to be taught  cuts across                                                               
industry sectors as well.   The basic construction skills that go                                                               
into  building or  repairing  a  ship or  boat  are essential  to                                                               
construction  and to  oil and  gas.   Roughly 70  percent of  the                                                               
priority occupations that Alaska as  a state has targeted for oil                                                               
and  gas exist  and reside  within the  Ketchikan shipyard.   The                                                               
shipyard is  always looking for those  cross-cutting capabilities                                                               
with any  of the  initiatives that it  undertakes.   The shipyard                                                               
also looks  for benchmarking to ensure  that what it is  doing is                                                               
providing either infrastructure or a competitive workforce.                                                                     
MR. WARD  noted that the  1998 Workforce Investment Act  has been                                                               
reauthorized.    This  federal   law  provides  federal  training                                                               
dollars to the  [U.S. Department of Labor]  Employment & Training                                                               
Administration to  the states.  The  1998 Act was focused  on the                                                               
individual  worker and  how to  get  disadvantaged and  displaced                                                               
workers.   The  2014  Workforce Innovation  and Opportunity  Act,                                                               
which is  the authorization, recognizes  that the demand  side of                                                               
workforce must  be addressed too.   A hallmark of the  new Act is                                                               
it   requires  that   economic  developers,   the  investors   in                                                               
infrastructure,  must work  together with  workforce development.                                                               
It  pushes  economic  and   workforce  development  together  and                                                               
requires that  they be joined  at the hip,  which is a  sea state                                                               
change  for federal  law and  for federal  investments.   Much of                                                               
what  is  being  done  is  to line  up  with  the  new  Workforce                                                               
Investment Act.  It  talks about performance-based apprenticeship                                                               
which is based on a person's  ability to perform work rather than                                                               
how  long a  person  has been  in a  position.   The  significant                                                               
changes  made to  the federal  Act are  in alignment  with global                                                               
best practices for a competitive workforce.                                                                                     
10:44:39 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. WARD discussed  what the Ketchikan shipyard is  doing that is                                                               
based on  these national  standards.  He  noted that  three years                                                               
ago his shipyard  was purchased by Vigor of  Portland, Oregon and                                                               
Seattle,  Washington, so  the shipyard  is  now one  of the  nine                                                               
shipyards existing under the Vigor  umbrella.  While Alaska is an                                                               
outlier  for  Vigor, [the  Ketchikan  shipyard]  is showing  that                                                               
Alaska  can  be  innovative  and  can  lead  in  its  competitive                                                               
practices.    The Ketchikan  shipyard  has  adopted the  National                                                               
Center   for   Construction   Education  and   Research   (NCCER)                                                               
curriculum for construction  trades that in Alaska  is managed by                                                               
[Associated  General Contractors  of  Alaska] and  which has  the                                                               
Alaska Construction  Academies.  They administer  all the testing                                                               
and overview for NCCER curriculum  on construction skills.  About                                                               
15 years ago  the NSRP recognized that  those construction skills                                                               
fundamentally  are  the same  across  all  industries, so  [NSRP]                                                               
recommended  adoption  of NCCER  levels  1  through 2,  with  the                                                               
junior  level  industrial processes  being  moved  over onto  the                                                               
private  sector for  that  more specialized  training.   He  said                                                               
NCCER  is affordable,  standardized, and  has very  high economic                                                               
credentialing  authority.    Most  importantly,  though,  is  the                                                               
affordability -  about $40  gets a  text book  that can  be used.                                                               
There is  a standard  curriculum platform on  which to  build for                                                               
entry  level,  middle skill,  and  journey  level workers.    The                                                               
Ketchikan shipyard has the contract  to build two new ferries for                                                               
the  State of  Alaska.   Between  that and  the Seward  shipyard,                                                               
Vigor  needs about  150  new  shipyard workers  and  this is  the                                                               
process that Vigor is following  to get those new Alaskan workers                                                               
into these jobs.   Vigor is moving  its current entry-level-skill                                                               
workers into  middle skills, the  middle-skill workers  are being                                                               
moved  up  to  journey,  and journey  workers  are  being  taught                                                               
leadership and supervision.  That  is making way for new Alaskans                                                               
to come  into the  job.   This week  the construction  academy is                                                               
rolling  out the  Pre-Apprentice  Program  for Marine  Industrial                                                               
Skills; it  is built  into Ketchikan  high school  as well  as an                                                               
adult program.  Young people  are being brought into the shipyard                                                               
to see  what it does, to  become aware of the  careers there, and                                                               
to actually  start learning how to  do things.  Vigor  is looking                                                               
forward to  about 150 new  young Alaskans joining the  company in                                                               
the next 6-12  months.  The University of Alaska  is a partner in                                                               
this.   The  university  has developed  a maritime  multi-skilled                                                               
worker  program that  is 8  hours a  day for  12 weeks  and is  a                                                               
cross-cutting course  in itself.  Students  completing the course                                                               
are qualified  to go to  work for  the Alaska Marine  Highway and                                                               
other  shipping companies  as a  deck engineer,  which keeps  the                                                               
vessels  operating.   The modules  within that  course are  about                                                               
industrial   processes:     electronics,   electrical,   welding,                                                               
fabrication.     It   also  prepares   people   for  careers   in                                                               
shipbuilding and repair.                                                                                                        
MR. WARD  addressed the question from  Representative Ortiz about                                                               
how  the  Alaska  Workforce  Investment   plan  is  dealing  with                                                               
distributing the career  awareness as well as the  tools to learn                                                               
this.     Because  NCCER  exists  within   the  state's  training                                                               
institutions, he  said one of his  goals by adopting NCCER  is to                                                               
have one of  [Vigor's] young workers get  college credit sometime                                                               
in 2015 from Ilisagvik College in  Barrow since NCCER is a common                                                               
curriculum.   The  Community Development  Quota  (CDQ) groups  in                                                               
Western Alaska  have expressed  interest.   They rely  on fishing                                                               
vessels for Bristol Bay and  discussions are being had about six-                                                               
month  internships  for CDQ  people  to  come [to  the  Ketchikan                                                               
shipyard] and learn vessel maintenance,  repair, and building for                                                               
replacement of  the vessels  in the  Bristol Bay  area.   So, the                                                               
answer  to the  question  is that,  yes, what  is  being done  in                                                               
Ketchikan  is   transferable  across   industry  sectors.     The                                                               
knowledge,  skills, and  ability to  build a  boat are  needed to                                                               
build  almost anything.   It  is transferable  across occupations                                                               
and it is transferable across  both geographic and jurisdictional                                                               
boundaries.    Workforce  development  and  maritime  are  almost                                                               
equally  complex,  so  this  recent   growing  awareness  of  and                                                               
interest  in  Alaska's maritime  industry  is  like a  school  of                                                               
dolphins as  far as how  to control things  and where to  go with                                                               
everything.  It  is up to industry  to help guide that.   He said                                                               
he is going to accept the  invitation from Chair Stutes to attend                                                               
the ComFish Alaska trade show  and ensure that Kodiak's kids know                                                               
what is going on.                                                                                                               
10:50:44 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES  understood the Ketchikan shipyard  was purchased by                                                               
[Vigor  Industrial  LLC] two  to  three  years  ago.   She  asked                                                               
whether the construction and the  workforce will remain in Alaska                                                               
or whether construction  will occur in Washington  and Oregon and                                                               
then shipped to Alaska.                                                                                                         
MR. WARD replied  that the two new state ferries  are being built                                                               
in Ketchikan,  which indicates  Vigor Industrial's  commitment to                                                               
the state.   To get that  contract, Vigor's pricing had  to equal                                                               
or be better than Gulf of  Mexico pricing for building new ships.                                                               
For a  whole host  of reasons  there is  roughly a  25-30 percent                                                               
cost disadvantage  to do work in  Alaska as compared to  the Gulf                                                               
of Mexico.  Vigor has taken  that contract at $101 million, which                                                               
started out to  build a single boat, but now  two are being built                                                               
for  the same  price.   This is  an indication  that Vigor  is in                                                               
Alaska to  stay.  Vigor  purposely took that contract  to provide                                                               
four  years  of  stability  so  that  these  kinds  of  workforce                                                               
development programs can  be demonstrated as well  as proven, and                                                               
then begin distributing this around the state.                                                                                  
10:52:32 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  NOROSZ pointed  out that  the [Industry  Advisory Committee]                                                               
understands it has a lot of  things it needs to continue doing to                                                               
fully implement this.   Industry continues to  meet regularly and                                                               
continues  to get  the word  out.   [The  advisory committee]  is                                                               
meeting with  some of  the new members  of the  administration to                                                               
make  them  aware   of  this  workforce  plan.     Anything  that                                                               
legislators can do to help  state agencies work with the advisory                                                               
committee to  ensure implementation  of this plan  is encouraged.                                                               
It is recognized  that with dwindling state dollars  more must be                                                               
done with less.   It would behoove the Alaska  Department of Fish                                                               
& Game and  the Department of Transportation  & Public Facilities                                                               
because of  the greying  of their  workforce.   It is  within the                                                               
mission of the  Department of Labor &  Workforce Development; the                                                               
Department  of Commerce,  Community &  Economic Development;  and                                                               
the  University  of  Alaska to  work  on  workforce  development.                                                               
Anything  the  legislature can  do  to  encourage them  would  be                                                               
appreciated,  whether it  is a  resolution  or discussions  about                                                               
work  with all  the  industries that  have workforce  development                                                               
plans.   She  urged that  the  Education Tax  Credit be  retained                                                               
because it  has been  an excellent  tool for  industry to  use to                                                               
further  invest  in  workforce development  and  training.    She                                                               
thanked the committee for listening to the presentation.                                                                        
10:54:30 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  commented that  most school  districts have                                                               
career classes that would be  a natural place for a presentation.                                                               
He asked Mr. Ward how it works  in a practical sense to get young                                                               
people to the shipyard, given school classroom schedules.                                                                       
MR. WARD responded  that the shipyard is working  with the school                                                               
counselors   and  with   the  career   and  technical   education                                                               
instructors.  Students who may not  be college bound or who don't                                                               
know  what they  want to  do are  being encouraged  to go  to the                                                               
shipyard to  see what the  shipyard is  doing.  For  example, the                                                               
high school teacher  of a girl taking a welding  class called him                                                               
to say  that this girl  was a natural and  could he bring  her to                                                               
the  shipyard.   She spent  six months  at the  shipyard and  now                                                               
wants a  career there.   He  offered his hope  that one  day this                                                               
girl will  be leading the company  because she has the  drive and                                                               
intelligence that it  takes to do that.  The  shipyard works hard                                                               
to reach  out to the  teachers and  schools to find  students, he                                                               
said, and then celebrates those success stories.                                                                                
10:58:00 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Fisheries meeting  was adjourned  at 10:58                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan.pdf HFSH 2/17/2015 10:00:00 AM
Slides Alaska Presentation Maritme Workforce Development Plan Feb 2015.pdf HFSH 2/17/2015 10:00:00 AM