Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/05/2015 11:15 AM Senate SPECIAL CMTE ON THE ARCTIC

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Audio Topic
11:16:12 AM Start
11:16:59 AM Presentation: Workforce Development Plans as It Relates to the Arctic
11:50:18 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation on Workforce Development Plan as it TELECONFERENCED
Relates to the Arctic:
Greg Cashen, Deputy Commissioner, Department
of Labor
Mike Andrews, Department of Labor, Division
Director of Business Services
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARCTIC                                                                           
                         March 5, 2015                                                                                          
                           11:16 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Cathy Giessel, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                            
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Lesil McGuire, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN AS IT RELATES TO THE                                                                   
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
GREG CASHEN, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to Developing                                                               
Alaska's Arctic Workforce.                                                                                                      
MIKE ANDREWS, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Business Partnerships                                                                                               
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to Developing                                                               
Alaska's Arctic Workforce.                                                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
11:16:12 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  CATHY GIESSEL  called the  Senate Special  Committee on                                                             
the Arctic meeting to order at  11:16 a.m. Present at the call to                                                               
order  were  Senators  Coghill,  Bishop,  and  Co-Chair  Giessel.                                                               
Senator  Olson arrived  shortly  thereafter.  She noted  Co-Chair                                                               
McGuire,  Senator  Hoffman,  and  Senator  Stevens  have  excused                                                               
^PRESENTATION: Workforce  Development Plans as it  Relates to the                                                               
 PRESENTATION: Workforce Development Plan as it Relates to the                                                              
11:16:59 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL announced that  today's presentation would be by                                                               
the  Department of  Labor &  Workforce Development  on Developing                                                               
Alaska's Arctic Workforce.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  BISHOP   voiced  appreciation   to  able  to   have  the                                                               
discussion today.  He said the conversation  regarding the Arctic                                                               
workforce  began  months  ago.  This presentation  is  the  first                                                               
attempt to  bring the  Arctic workforce  together. He  noted that                                                               
members  will  be  surprised  to learn  how  many  resources  are                                                               
already in place.                                                                                                               
11:18:31 AM                                                                                                                   
GREG  CASHEN,  Deputy  Commissioner,   Department  of  Labor  and                                                               
Workforce  Development (DOL),  presented  information related  to                                                               
Developing Alaska's  Arctic Workforce. He introduced  Mr. Andrews                                                               
who oversees  grant training  programs. He said  the Arctic  is a                                                               
new  frontier and  the department  is comfortable  taking on  the                                                               
task  of developing  a workforce  plan. He  pointed out  that the                                                               
Workforce  Investment  Board  has  a vast  amount  of  experience                                                               
developing workforce  plans for specific industries,  such as oil                                                               
and  gas, health  care, construction,  mining,  and maritime.  He                                                               
stated that  there are training  resources throughout  the state,                                                               
however, the Arctic area is  new except for pipeline construction                                                               
and mining.                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL noted the arrival of Senator Olson.                                                                            
11:21:16 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE  ANDREWS,   Director,  Division  of   Business  Partnership,                                                               
Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development  (DOL), presented                                                               
information related  to Developing Alaska's Arctic  Workforce. He                                                               
said  the  division was  directed  to  begin  work on  an  Arctic                                                               
workforce   by  the   Arctic  Policy   Council  Commission.   The                                                               
presentation   will  deal   with   many   aspects  of   workforce                                                               
SENATOR BISHOP  commented on the appropriateness  of an off-shore                                                               
oil platform on the cover slide.                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREWS  listed  the  declaration  of  state  Arctic  policy                                                               
priorities:   promoting   economic  and   resource   development,                                                               
addressing  the  response  capacity  gap in  the  Arctic  region,                                                               
supporting healthy  communities, and strengthening  a state-based                                                               
agenda for science and research in the Arctic.                                                                                  
11:23:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.   ANDREWS  discussed   the  workforce   development  key   to                                                               
addressing  Arctic  council  priorities. Alaska  has  decades  of                                                               
experience  educating and  training an  Arctic workforce.  Alaska                                                               
has collaborative  "workforce" partnerships in place  to meet the                                                               
challenges of  increasing activity  in the Arctic  region. Alaska                                                               
has substantial education and  training infrastructure to support                                                               
Arctic workforce development. He  noted that fundamental training                                                               
infrastructure is in place.                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL welcomed Senator Gardner to the meeting.                                                                       
MR.   ANDREWS  continued   with  Alaska's   public  postsecondary                                                               
education  -  college,  and university  systems  are  engaged  in                                                               
Arctic  workforce development.  He  listed  the various  systems:                                                               
University  of  Alaska  and  rural   college  campuses  in  Nome,                                                               
Kotzebue,  Bethel,  Dillingham,   Interior,  and  the  Aleutians;                                                               
Alaska  Technical  Center  in   Kotzebue;  Ilisagvik  College  in                                                               
Barrow; Alaska Vocational and  Technical Education Center (AVTEC)                                                               
in Seward.                                                                                                                      
MR.  ANDREWS  addressed  the  Arctic  Region  training  capacity:                                                               
"Arctic Region"  education and training infrastructure  has grown                                                               
significantly  over  the  past 15  years  and  Regional  Training                                                               
Centers  (RTC)  have   established  workforce  partnerships  with                                                               
regional  employers,  health  care  providers,  schools,  college                                                               
campuses,  Alaska   Native  Corporations,  and   mobile  industry                                                               
training  providers. He  said  partnerships are  in  place for  a                                                               
strong workforce.                                                                                                               
11:26:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREWS   listed  the  Arctic  Regional   Training  Centers:                                                               
Kotzebue  -  the Alaska  Technical  Education  Center and  Nome's                                                               
Northwest Arctic Career and Technical  Education Center. He noted                                                               
RTC programs  are funded, in  part, through the  Alaska Technical                                                               
and Vocation Education Program (TVEP).                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL highlighted the  training center in Kotzebue and                                                               
the excellent tele-education studio there.                                                                                      
MR. ANDREWS agreed and  said it is not easy there  - that type of                                                               
training is the key to the future.                                                                                              
SENATOR  OLSON  inquired  how  the  budget  crisis  would  affect                                                               
workforce development programs.                                                                                                 
MR.  ANDREWS responded  that it  is a  big concern.  He suggested                                                               
that industry needs  to become more involved in  creative ways to                                                               
partner  and fund  training. It  will have  a big  impact on  the                                                               
department's  ability to  deliver services.  He added  that there                                                               
are also some federal resources available.                                                                                      
SENATOR  OLSON  did not  think  industry  is inclined  to  become                                                               
involved financially, due to current  low oil prices. He asked if                                                               
the  state  has alternatives  in  mind  to sustain  the  training                                                               
MR.  ANDREWS  said  that  is   the  question  the  department  is                                                               
struggling with. He stated that  the department has not concluded                                                               
that industry does not want to be involved.                                                                                     
11:30:19 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR BISHOP  recalled his time  "in the shop." He  pointed out                                                               
that  the maritime  part  of AVTEC  has  had tremendous  industry                                                               
support and in-kind donations, such as donating charts.                                                                         
MR. CASHEN added  that the oil industry is  continuing to provide                                                               
funds for AVTEC and in-kind contributions, such as software.                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  thought both  training centers,  in Nome  and in                                                               
Kotzebue,  were  significant players  in  the  Red Dog  Mine,  in                                                               
shipping, and in the safety industry.                                                                                           
MR. CASHEN  said he is  familiar with Kotzebue  training center's                                                               
mining program for Red Dog.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  COGHILL thought  Kotzebue offered  certificated training                                                               
and Nome provided longer-term training.                                                                                         
MR. CASHEN  clarified that the  difference is NACTEC is  more for                                                               
secondary training  and AVTEC was  for both high  school students                                                               
and adults.                                                                                                                     
MR. ANDREWS spoke of support  by native corporations for training                                                               
11:34:46 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREWS  highlighted the  Fairbanks Pipeline  Training Center                                                               
which is:  specializing in  teaching Arctic  construction skills,                                                               
building large diameter pipelines for  oil and gas, and providing                                                               
training in  heavy equipment operation  and maintenance,  as well                                                               
as in  industrial welding  and pipefitting.  It offers  a Process                                                               
Technology  Associates degree  for facility  operations from  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska  and   certificates  in  Occupational  and                                                               
Environmental  Safety  and  Health,  as  well  as  a  safety  OSH                                                               
Associates  degree.  It has  a  campus  with housing  for  Arctic                                                               
11:36:36 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  BISHOP noted  that  the campus  housing  was built  with                                                               
elders in mind  to come in and be the  bridge between culture and                                                               
job training.                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREWS related  that Alaska  has several  relevant industry                                                               
sector  workforce plans  in place.  Skills are  transportable and                                                               
transferable.  All aligned  with  Alaska's  career and  technical                                                               
education plan.                                                                                                                 
He noted  that the  workforce plans  are tied to  a quote  by the                                                               
Alaska Arctic Policy Commission  to "Create workforce development                                                               
programs  to  prepare  Arctic residents  to  participate  in  all                                                               
aspects and  phases of Arctic  development." Currently  there are                                                               
plans for  construction, health  care, mining,  oil and  gas, and                                                               
maritime  industry. All  industry workforce  plans are  linked to                                                               
Alaska's Career and Technical Education Plan.                                                                                   
He  pointed out  that the  workforce plans  were created  through                                                               
collaborative partnerships  with industry,  employers, educators,                                                               
and  trainers  to  meet  the   challenge  of  supplying  a  ready                                                               
workforce today  and developing  tomorrow's talent.  The industry                                                               
sector  workforce  plans  help guide  policy  makers,  educators,                                                               
counselor,  and industry  trainers. The  plans created  education                                                               
and training pathways  for students and adults  to jobs, careers,                                                               
and advanced  learning - for  Arctic Region  industry occupations                                                               
and careers.                                                                                                                    
11:39:35 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  BISHOP  commented  on   how  the  workforce  plans  were                                                               
developed. He said research was  used to identify the occupations                                                               
and to devise the plans. He  credited the Department of Labor for                                                               
their excellent research and analysis work.                                                                                     
MR.  ANDREWS  said several  workforce  planning  areas have  been                                                               
identified  by  the  Alaska  Arctic  Council  for  consideration:                                                               
emergency   and  environmental   response,  search   and  rescue,                                                               
telecommunications, maritime,  transportation, ports,  roads, and                                                               
civil  construction, and  oil and  gas  development and  facility                                                               
He  turned  to  the  key Arctic  workforce  planning  principles:                                                               
ensure  career  and  technical education  planning  for  Alaska's                                                               
Arctic   economy  with   local  communities,   involve  industry,                                                               
regional employers,  educators, and community  representatives in                                                               
planning, and design training programs that are sustainable.                                                                    
11:42:08 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREWS concluded  that planning  must be  researched based.                                                               
The  Alaska  Workforce Investment  Board  and  the Department  of                                                               
Labor and Workforce Development  will perform an Arctic workforce                                                               
education and training gap analysis.  The department will provide                                                               
labor  market research  to help  policy makers  better understand                                                               
emerging and  expanding Arctic occupations. The  Alaska Workforce                                                               
Investment Board  and the department will  recommend action steps                                                               
to address Alaska Arctic workforce system gaps.                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL asked who serves on the board.                                                                                 
MR.  ANDREWS   replied  that  it   has  26  members;   some  from                                                               
departments,  four from  education, an  Alaska Native  Employment                                                               
Training   representative,  the   majority   from  business   and                                                               
industry, and the Lieutenant Governor.                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL noted the Alaska  Resource Education Group, from                                                               
the private  sector, has provided  modules for teachers  in order                                                               
to make  students aware  of their  job opportunities.  She agreed                                                               
with Mr. Andrews that "Alaska  policy is Arctic policy and Arctic                                                               
policy  is   Alaska  policy."  She   gave  examples   of  related                                                               
industries throughout Alaska.                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREWS reiterated that the whole state is in the Arctic.                                                                   
SENATOR BISHOP  concluded that as  Alaska works to  diversify its                                                               
economy, a  goal of  his is  to be  the Arctic  pipeline training                                                               
center of circumpolar  countries and to be recognized  as a world                                                               
leader in  that discipline. He  suggested that  other disciplines                                                               
could also be showcased due to their training assets.                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  GIESSEL  agreed it  was  a  great  goal. She  said  the                                                               
commission previously talked about  UAF being the reference point                                                               
on  Arctic research.  She  concluded  it was  a  worthy goal  for                                                               
Arctic workforce development.                                                                                                   
SENATOR COGHILL  said Alaska is  an international partner  in the                                                               
Arctic.  Alaska needs  to show  its  successes but  also look  to                                                               
successes  in Norway,  Sweden, and  Canada. He  said Alaska  is a                                                               
steward in the Arctic. He  predicted that engineering will become                                                               
the  unique challenge  of the  Arctic. Also,  that Alaska  is the                                                               
repository of  migration. He  concluded that  the Arctic  plays a                                                               
role in so many other parts of the world.                                                                                       
11:49:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL said Senator Coghill's  comments reminded her of                                                               
another  active private  sector  group,  Alaska Process  Industry                                                               
Careers  Association,  which  targets  careers  in  environmental                                                               
engineering, as well as safety occupations.                                                                                     
She thanked the presenters.                                                                                                     
11:50:18 AM                                                                                                                   
There being  nothing further  to come  before the  committee, Co-                                                               
Chair  Giessel  adjourned the  Senate  Special  Committee on  the                                                               
Arctic at 11:50 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DevelopingAlaska'sArcticWorkforce.pdf SARC 3/5/2015 11:15:00 AM
Presentation-DOWLD-Workforce Preparation-3/05/15