Legislature(2021 - 2022)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/02/2022 01:30 PM Senate LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
01:32:07 PM Start
01:32:52 PM SB132
01:36:44 PM Presentation(s): Workforce Development and Infrastructure Investment
03:13:01 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Workforce Development and Infrastructure TELECONFERENCED
Investment Presentation
- Alaska State Pipe Trades
- Northwest Carpenter’s Union
- International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers
- International Union of Operating Engineers
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 132 CONTROLLED SUB. DATA: EXEMPT VETERINARIAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 132 Out of Committee
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         March 2, 2022                                                                                          
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Joshua Revak, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):   WORKFORCE   DEVELOPMENT   AND   INFRASTRUCTURE                                                               
INVESTMENT                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 132                                                                                                             
"An Act exempting veterinarians from the requirements of the                                                                    
controlled substance prescription database."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 132 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 132                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONTROLLED SUB. DATA: EXEMPT VETERINARIAN                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HOLLAND                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/28/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/28/21       (S)       HSS, L&C                                                                                               
02/03/22       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/03/22       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/03/22       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/08/22       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/08/22       (S)       Moved SB 132 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/08/22       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/09/22       (S)       HSS RPT  4DP                                                                                           
02/09/22       (S)       DP: WILSON, REINBOLD, BEGICH, HUGHES                                                                   
02/23/22       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/23/22       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/22       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
NIKKI ROSE, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Roger Holland                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Thanked the committee for  its consideration                                                             
of SB 139.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. RACHEL BERNGARTT, Chair                                                                                                     
Board of Veterinary Examiners                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Expressed  appreciation for  the  time  and                                                             
thought the committee put into SB 132.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
AARON PLIKAT,  Business Manager,  Financial Secretary,  and Chair                                                               
Joint Apprenticeship Training Trust                                                                                             
United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 367                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Co-delivered  a presentation  on  workforce                                                             
development for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
EVERETT COLLINS, Building Trades Business Agent                                                                                 
United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 367                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-delivered a presentation  about workforce                                                             
development for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JOSH BOLTON, Statewide Training Director                                                                                        
Alaska Carpenters Training Trust (ACTT)                                                                                         
Northwest Carpenters Union (NWCU)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT: Delivered  a presentation  about the  Alaska                                                             
Carpenters Training Trust (ACTT).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MIKE HOLCOMB, Administrator                                                                                                     
Alaska Operating Engineers/Employers Training Trust                                                                             
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT: Delivered  a presentation  about the  Alaska                                                             
Operating Engineers/Employers Training Trust.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RYAN ANDREW, Assistant Business Manager                                                                                         
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Delivered a  presentation on Alaska Workforce                                                             
Development and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MIA COSTELLO called the  Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Gray-Jackson, Revak, and Chair Costello.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        SB 132-CONTROLLED SUB. DATA: EXEMPT VETERINARIAN                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:32:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO announced  the consideration  of SENATE  BILL NO.                                                               
132 "An Act exempting veterinarians  from the requirements of the                                                               
controlled substance prescription database."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She noted that  this was the second hearing  and public testimony                                                               
was opened  and closed  during the first  hearing. She  asked Ms.                                                               
Rose if she had any final  comments before she looked to the will                                                               
of the committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:33:49 PM                                                                                                                    
NIKKI   ROSE,  Staff,   Senator  Roger   Holland,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,  thanked  the  committee  for  its                                                               
consideration of SB 139.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  Dr. Berngartt  if she  had any  additional                                                               
comments on the bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:34:12 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  RACHEL  BERNGARTT,  Chair, Board  of  Veterinary  Examiners,                                                               
Juneau, Alaska,  expressed appreciation for the  time and thought                                                               
the committee put into SB 132.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON stated that she  is proud to be a co-sponsor                                                               
and she looks forward to the bill passing both bodies.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REVAK  moved to  report SB  132, work  order 32-LS0861\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO found  no objection  and  SB 132  moved from  the                                                               
Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:35:08 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):    Workforce   Development  and  Infrastructure                                                               
Investment                                                                                                                      
   PRESENTATION(S):  Workforce Development and Infrastructure                                                               
                           Investment                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
1:36:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  reconvened the meeting and  welcomed Aaron Plikat                                                               
and  Everett Collins  to talk  about  working in  the trades  and                                                               
their  efforts to  help train  young Alaskans  for jobs  in these                                                               
professions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:37:35 PM                                                                                                                    
AARON PLIKAT,  Business Manager,  Financial Secretary,  and Chair                                                               
of the  Joint Apprenticeship  Training Trust,  United Association                                                               
of Plumbers  and Steamfitters Local  367, Anchorage,  Alaska, co-                                                               
delivered a  presentation on workforce development  for plumbers,                                                               
pipefitters,  and   steamfitters.  He  paraphrased   his  written                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     UA  Local  367  was  established  in  1938  to  support                                                                    
     military construction  and a young growing  city. There                                                                    
     were originally  15 plumbers and gasfitters  who sent a                                                                    
     request to the United  Association's general office for                                                                    
     recognition  of a  Local chapter.  Since that  time, UA                                                                    
     Local  367   has  grown   and  invested   in  workforce                                                                    
     development to  create a membership of  over 800 today.                                                                    
     One  of the  ways this  was  done was  by creating  our                                                                    
     local    apprenticeship    program   in    1956    with                                                                    
     contributions  from members'  wages of  $0.01 from  all                                                                    
     hours   worked   by    our   membership.   Today   this                                                                    
     contribution rate  has grown  to $1.55 per  hour worked                                                                    
     and has allowed  us to train hundreds  of qualified and                                                                    
     licensed  Plumbers,  Steamfitters, Welders,  and  HVACR                                                                    
     Technicians. These  members have played a  role in most                                                                    
     of the  major construction projects in  our State, from                                                                    
     the Trans  Alaska Pipeline to all  the major hospitals,                                                                    
     power   production    facilities,   refineries,   large                                                                    
     commercial buildings, and public schools.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked if he  would describe the  occupations that                                                               
are represented in Local 367.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PLIKAT   explained  that  Local  367   represents  plumbers,                                                               
pipefitters,  service  technicians,  and welders.  He  said  most                                                               
people  understand the  basics  of a  plumber's  work, but  these                                                               
professionals also install  the lines for medical  gases that are                                                               
used  in hospitals  and other  medical facilities.  These include                                                               
lines  for  oxygen masks,  nitrogen  lines  that power  surgeons'                                                               
tools,  and  vacuum  systems in  dental  offices.  Plumbers  also                                                               
install  the  lines  for  domestic  and  potable  water  systems,                                                               
heating  systems, and  automation controls  for HVAC  systems. On                                                               
the industrial  side, these professionals  work on  pipelines for                                                               
the  oil industry,  power  facilities,  residential service,  and                                                               
construction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PLIKAT  explained that the United  Association apprenticeship                                                               
program has 385,000  members in all U.S. states  and provinces in                                                               
Canada, and is expanding  internationally with partner agreements                                                               
in  Ireland  and Australia.  The  program  requires 5  years  and                                                               
10,000  hours to  complete  the training  and  achieve a  journey                                                               
worker classification.  The apprenticeship is lengthy  due to the                                                               
work that must  be covered and to ensure that  the public is safe                                                               
around  the  systems  that are  installed.  All  apprentices  are                                                               
required to obtain  240 hours of classroom training a  year in 40                                                               
hour  blocks for  six weeks.  Apprentices who  are working  union                                                               
jobs are  laid off to  attend this  training, but are  allowed to                                                               
draw  unemployment   insurance  during   that  time.   Each  year                                                               
apprentices  return  to build  on  the  skills they  learned  the                                                               
previous  year.  The  goal  is  that  apprentices  are  gainfully                                                               
employed and acquiring  hands-on skills when they are  not in the                                                               
classroom. Beginning pay for apprentices  is $20.50 or 50 percent                                                               
of a journey  person's wage. The wage increases  10 percent every                                                               
2,000 hours until the apprentice  achieves journey worker status.                                                               
Full health  and benefits are  paid from  day one. He  noted that                                                               
the program  currently has  just 57  apprentices, which  is below                                                               
the historical average of 75.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:44:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PLIKAT stated  that workforce  development  has stalled  the                                                               
last several years. Since the  large powerplants in South Central                                                               
were finished, there have been  small, private money construction                                                               
projects, but those  do not provide employment  for large numbers                                                               
of people. The  result is that the retention of  second to fourth                                                               
year  apprentices  has  been  at an  all-time  low.  The  current                                                               
apprenticeship opening  has just  24 applicants, whereas  in 2010                                                               
there were about 200 applicants.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PLIKAT  expressed  optimism  that  the  influx  of  American                                                               
Infrastructure  Act  dollars  would  have a  positive  effect  on                                                               
workforce development  in the  state. He  relayed that  Local 367                                                               
stands ready to meet the  challenges of recruitment and retention                                                               
of  its  apprentices.  Outreach has  included  partnerships  with                                                               
agencies  such as  UAA, AVTECH,  King Career  Center, and  Alaska                                                               
Works  Partnership to  encourage  apprenticeships.  In 2010,  the                                                               
United Association  created the Veterans in  Piping (VIP) program                                                               
to  work  with  transitioning soldiers.  These  soldiers  receive                                                               
intensive training in welding and  HVAC while on active duty, and                                                               
upon completion  are direct entered into  apprenticeship programs                                                               
around the  country. As of 2018,  the UA had 1,600  VIP graduates                                                               
that have been placed in  locals throughout the country. He noted                                                               
that there was additional information about this online.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
14945                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PLIKAT   reported  that   the  team   at  Local   367  began                                                               
conversations  last year  about  projects in  the greater  Yukon-                                                               
Kuskokwim area  such as the  Bethel hospital project that  took a                                                               
workforce of some 30 plumbers  and pipefitters about two years to                                                               
complete.  He  said  Local 367  advertised  locally  through  the                                                               
Department of  Labor and Workforce  Development (DOLWD)  and with                                                               
Alaska  Works Partnership  for an  apprenticeship outreach.  Just                                                               
two people  applied over  the course of  the entire  project, but                                                               
neither  entered the  program. This  started conversations  about                                                               
what to  do to increase  interest in  local projects such  as the                                                               
hotel project in the Bethel region  that has the potential to put                                                               
25-30  plumbers to  work for  18  months. He  expressed hope,  as                                                               
Senator  Murkowski  had,   that  the  forthcoming  infrastructure                                                               
dollars would go  toward water and sewer  infrastructure in rural                                                               
Alaska to put  an end of the "honey bucket."  He acknowledged the                                                               
need  for  more trained  workers  to  accomplish this  work,  and                                                               
mentioned   the   ongoing    discussion   about   extending   the                                                               
apprenticeship training  program and opening a  training facility                                                               
in Bethel.  He said Local 367  looks forward to taking  the brick                                                               
and mortar training  to see what can be done  in this rural area.                                                               
He noted  that employers are  looking forward to  the opportunity                                                               
for local hire in rural areas  in part because it is a tremendous                                                               
cost savings. He opined that this  model could be extended to the                                                               
Aleutian chain for geothermal power  facility projects and to the                                                               
40  seafood  processing  facilities  throughout  the  chain  that                                                               
currently  bring  in  workers  from outside  the  state  to  keep                                                               
refrigeration facilities maintained and working.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PLIKAT  acknowledged  that expanding  infrastructure  and  a                                                               
skilled workforce into rural Alaska  will take long time training                                                               
programs  and  commitment  from DOLWD  to  support  doing  things                                                               
differently.  He asked  the legislature  to help  this effort  by                                                               
supporting  the governor's  $10  million increment  in the  DOLWD                                                               
budget  specifically   to  assist  with  STEP   and  other  grant                                                               
resources to expand  needed training programs. He  also asked the                                                               
legislature to  consider making the use  of apprentices mandatory                                                               
for   all  major   construction  projects   funded  through   the                                                               
infrastructure bill.  He suggested a  bar to hire  apprentices in                                                               
each craft  to perform  10 percent  of the hours  of work  on the                                                               
project. It would be a message  from the state that it recognizes                                                               
the need and value of these apprentices.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:55:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   COSTELLO   committed  to   look   at   ways  to   further                                                               
apprenticeship training in rural  communities because it supports                                                               
the notion  of Alaska  Hire. She  mentioned finding  young people                                                               
who might be  interested in training and asked him  to talk about                                                               
the partnership with King Tech  High School and whether Local 367                                                               
has  similar partnerships  with  other schools  in Anchorage  and                                                               
elsewhere.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLIKAT replied  King Tech has been a long  time partner. Once                                                               
a year  counselors refer students  with specific interest  in the                                                               
pipe trades or welding for  apprenticeship training and the union                                                               
reaches  out routinely  to check  on the  students' progress.  To                                                               
facilitate  access   to  schools,   the  local  has   a  fulltime                                                               
recruiter,  has  partnered  with   the  Alaska  School  Counselor                                                               
Association  to provide  information at  events, and  continually                                                               
looks for  outreach opportunities. Alaska Works  Partnership does                                                               
a  lot of  outreach  on  behalf of  the  local; DOLPF's  hands-on                                                               
training event  with the  trades at  the Palmer  Fairgrounds each                                                               
year  has been  very  successful;  and Local  367  holds a  well-                                                               
advertised monthly  open house at the  Anchorage training center.                                                               
He also mentioned a transition program for veterans.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:00:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  where the  Local 367  joint apprenticeship                                                               
facility is located.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLIKAT  replied the address  is 617 West Potter  Road between                                                               
Arctic  and C  Street. He  related that  the open  houses started                                                               
slowly but after  a year the word is spreading  and there is more                                                               
interest from a variety of populations, including women.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO thanked Mr. Plikat  and asked Mr. Collins to share                                                               
his role.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:01:33 PM                                                                                                                    
EVERETT   COLLINS,  Building   Trades   Business  Agent,   United                                                               
Association of  Plumbers and  Steamfitters Local  367, Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, Co-delivered  a presentation about  workforce development                                                               
for plumbers,  pipefitters, and  steamfitters. explained  that he                                                               
primarily  deals with  manpower. He  does the  dispatching, works                                                               
with  apprentices  to understand  the  benefits  of the  training                                                               
center and what employment looks  like with various employers. He                                                               
also works  to encourage contractors  to hire new  apprentices in                                                               
suitable jobs.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO asked  whether appropriately  trained members  of                                                               
Local 367 could be solicited to work on jobs in other states.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLLINS  said that is  correct. He explained that  the United                                                               
Association  has hundreds  of locals  throughout the  country and                                                               
much  of  his time  is  spent  networking  with other  locals  so                                                               
members who are sort on work  are able to work in another locale.                                                               
He noted a  current concern that members who have  left the state                                                               
for work  may not return.  He agreed  with Mr. Plikat  that there                                                               
will be a lot  of work in Alaska over the next  five to ten years                                                               
so it's important to work on the  workforce now to try to keep it                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:03:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REVAK  asked  about  the   current  situation  with  the                                                               
Military  Construction Program  (MILCON), whether  the trend  was                                                               
up, down, or steady, and how that affects training.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLIKAT  offered his perspective  that there is  more outreach                                                               
and accessibility  than in past  years. He shared  his excitement                                                               
about VIP in  2010 and that he lobbied to  see whether JBER could                                                               
be  a potential  location because  a massive  number of  soldiers                                                               
were  transitioning  to  Alaska.  He  said  the  program  is  not                                                               
expanding at this  time, but Local 367 has  been offered services                                                               
to  run the  VIP Program  and  train at  the Anchorage  facility.                                                               
Efforts are  ongoing to  advance the idea  to base  leadership to                                                               
allow  soldiers to  enter programs  such as  advanced welding  or                                                               
refrigeration  training  with  the understanding  that  UA  would                                                               
commit to placing these soldiers  upon completion of the program.                                                               
He explained that  the apprenticeship classes run  about 32 weeks                                                               
and  the  remainder  of  the  time  is  spent  on  various  other                                                               
trainings. He  said any  help legislators  could provide  to gain                                                               
access to the base to advance training would be appreciated.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REVAK  said he was  receptive to those  conversations. He                                                               
added that he  might benefit from the open houses  to advance his                                                               
welding skills.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He asked  about the opportunities  for work specific  to military                                                               
construction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PLIKAT  offered his understanding  that the  northern regions                                                               
of the state  have enjoyed significant projects, but  it has been                                                               
slow  at JBER.  He noted  the significant  projects in  Shemya to                                                               
repower  the base  and  realign the  drainage  system across  the                                                               
island and  mentioned hanger projects  for the F-22 jets  as well                                                               
as housing.  Despite this activity  he said there  has definitely                                                               
been a significant slowdown the last few years.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO mentioned  the possibility of a field  trip to one                                                               
of the monthly open houses.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON  stated  support  for  the  governor's  $10                                                               
million  addition to  DOLWD and  expressed  appreciation for  the                                                               
suggestion  to  require  hiring  apprentices  in  each  craft  to                                                               
perform 10 percent of the hours of work on a project.                                                                           
 She committed to follow up after the meeting.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked  Mr.  Collins  what  he  looks  for  in  a                                                               
prospective  apprentice  and  whether  he  interviews  interested                                                               
parties.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLLINS  replied he  does participate  in the  interviews and                                                               
looks for  people who  have mechanical  aptitude, an  interest in                                                               
building  things,  and  a desire  to  participate.  Classes  that                                                               
someone  has   taken  and  completed   also  indicate   that  the                                                               
individual  has initiative.  He noted  that graduates  from AVTEC                                                               
are   always  welcome;   they  have   the   education  and   have                                                               
demonstrated initiative.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked if apprentices  can be younger than 18 years                                                               
of age.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COLLINS  replied age  18  is  the  threshold  to be  in  the                                                               
construction trades,  but younger Alaskans are  welcome to attend                                                               
the open houses.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  found  no  further  comments  or  questions  and                                                               
thanked  Mr. Collins  and Mr.  Plikat for  the presentation.  She                                                               
committed her office to stay in touch.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:11:11 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:12:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  reconvened the meeting  and asked Josh  Bolton to                                                               
tell the  committee about the  training opportunities  for future                                                               
Alaskan workers.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:13:17 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSH  BOLTON,   Statewide  Training   Director  for   the  Alaska                                                               
Carpenters  Training  Trust  (ACTT), Northwest  Carpenters  Union                                                               
(NWCU),  Anchorage, Alaska,  Delivered a  presentation about  the                                                               
Alaska  Carpenters  Training Trust  (ACTT).  He  stated that  NCU                                                               
trains apprentice and journey-level  workers under all craft that                                                               
the Northwest  Carpenters Union represents  in Alaska.  He shared                                                               
that he would  talk about ACTT's training  program, the workforce                                                               
needs, and the efforts to meet these needs.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOLTON   reported  that   the  Northwest   Carpenters  Union                                                               
represents over  1,200 members statewide  and about  60 signatory                                                               
contractors that  employ members.  He recounted that  the members                                                               
are  carpenters  who  do foundations,  metal  and  wood  framing,                                                               
drywall and other finishing, pile  drivers who drive piles and do                                                               
work on  docks and  piers, millwrights who  do precision  work on                                                               
turbines;  divers  who  do   underwater  bridge  inspections  and                                                               
welding; scaffold erectors  who are qualified to  build and erect                                                               
scaffold up to 125 feet  without engineering; and welders because                                                               
all these trades require welding skills.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BOLTON  provided  a  brief   description  of  the  Northwest                                                               
Carpenters Union training.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
   • Facilities are located in Anchorage and Fairbanks.                                                                         
   • Classroom space is rented in Juneau for journey-level                                                                      
     upgrade training and the idea of apprenticeship training in                                                                
     Juneau is being explored because Southeast needs more                                                                      
     qualified carpenters.                                                                                                      
   • Five full-time instructors are employed statewide.                                                                         
 • One full-time coordinator works at the Anchorage facility.                                                                   
   • One full-time statewide director. Mr. Bolton stated he                                                                     
     holds this position and works from the Fairbanks facility,                                                                 
     but travels to Anchorage and Juneau regularly to visit                                                                     
     schools and work on journey-level upgrade training.                                                                        
   • The registered apprenticeship program is four years                                                                        
   • The program requires about 7,000 hours of training.                                                                        
   • Classroom instruction in the training centers makes up 960                                                                 
     hours of the training.                                                                                                     
   • Apprentices perform 6,000 hours of on-the-job training                                                                     
     working for the union's signatory contractors throughout                                                                   
     the state.                                                                                                                 
   • The retention rate for the training program over the last                                                                  
     five years is about 80 percent.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:17:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BOLTON  displayed the  chart on slide  4 that  shows the                                                                    
makeup  of  ACTT  apprentices.   Currently,  there  are  167                                                                    
apprentices  statewide. This  is  a little  higher than  the                                                                    
norm and  the hope is  that this will increase  this summer.                                                                    
He  pointed out  the  diversity of  the apprentices,  [which                                                                    
includes    Hispanic   Black/African    American,   American                                                                    
Indian/Alaska    Native,    Asian/Pacific   Islander,    and                                                                    
Caucasian]. Basically,  he said  an Alaska  driver's license                                                                    
and diploma  or GED is  required to apply and  be considered                                                                    
for the program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:18:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked for the  address of the  Anchorage training                                                               
facility.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON replied it is in the industrial area, on King Street.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON turned  to the chart on slide 5  that shows the number                                                               
of apprentices  by craft,  local union  number, and  location. He                                                               
noted that  the small  number of  divers, scaffold  erectors, and                                                               
millwrights reflects the  small workload in these  areas over the                                                               
last  few years.  ACTT has  responded  by slowing  the intake  of                                                               
apprentices.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     • 84 carpenter apprentices are based out of local 1281 in                                                                  
       Anchorage.                                                                                                               
     • 50 carpenter apprentices are based out of local 1243 in                                                                  
       Fairbanks.                                                                                                               
     • 19 piledriver apprentices are based out of statewide                                                                     
       local 2520 in Anchorage.                                                                                                 
     • 5 diver apprentices are based out of statewide local 2520                                                                
       in Anchorage.                                                                                                            
     • 6 scaffold erector apprentices work statewide but are                                                                    
       represented by local 1281 in Anchorage.                                                                                  
     • 3 millwright apprentices work statewide but are                                                                          
       represented by local 1281 in Anchorage.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:20:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BOLTON  stated  that  there has  been  a  general  workforce                                                               
shortage  the last  three years,  largely  due to  the number  of                                                               
members who  have retired over  the last decade. The  shortage is                                                               
the result  of a precedent in  the 1980s and early  1990s to pass                                                               
over  young  people  and hire  experienced  workers.  During  the                                                               
recession  many members  found  work  out-of-state, sometimes  in                                                               
other industries,  and have not returned.  COVID-19 also affected                                                               
all the trades.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON reviewed the projections for 2022.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   • ACTT expects at least 70 new apprentices this year. Just                                                                   
     eight apprentices are not working right now and this is                                                                    
     typically the slow time of year.                                                                                           
   • Approximately 200 more journey-level workers will be needed                                                                
     this season and that will  be difficult to achieve without a                                                               
     larger  workforce.  Representatives  are  currently  talking                                                               
     with  non-signatory contractors  about  getting people  into                                                               
     journey-level  and enhancement  training so  they can  go to                                                               
     job sites as journey-level workers.                                                                                        
   • 40 percent more bridge work is anticipated in the Fairbanks                                                                
     area alone. Interviews for a class of about 10 pile drivers                                                                
     will start on March 14.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He explained  that each  year ACTT  has two  first-year selection                                                               
processes and  two first-year  apprentice training  classes. Work                                                               
is underway  to expand the  training facilities in  Anchorage and                                                               
expand class sizes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:24:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BOLTON recounted the ways ACTT recruits.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
   • High school job fairs                                                                                                      
   • Private job fairs                                                                                                          
   • Alaska Works Partnership                                                                                                   
      • AWP has a 40 hour carpentry program that feeds into the                                                                 
         apprentice program                                                                                                     
      • ACTT provides all the welding training at AWP.                                                                          
      • ACTT uses its facility to teach a pile driver class for                                                                 
         Alaska Works Partnership for the Women in the Trades                                                                   
         program                                                                                                                
   • AVTEC and King Tech both have high level welding and                                                                       
     carpentry programs.                                                                                                        
   • Exiting military members are an excellent source of skilled                                                                
     and trained workers.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON  discussed partnerships. ACTT has  agreements with the                                                               
Fairbanks North  Star Borough School  District and  Juneau School                                                               
District  for a  direct entry  path into  the Fairbanks  program.                                                               
ACTT will  partner with any  school district that  is interested.                                                               
He  noted that  he  sits  on the  curriculum  committees for  the                                                               
Yukon-Koyukuk  School  District  and Hutchinson  High  School  in                                                               
Fairbanks  to  promote  training  for the  trades.  He  described                                                               
Alaska  Works  Partnership  as extremely  valuable  for  all  the                                                               
trades. On  behalf of ACTT, he  stated support for HB  108 and HB
132,  both of  which would  provide a  path for  a career  in the                                                               
trades.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:27:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  noted that he  did not mention an  agreement with                                                               
the Anchorage School District.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON replied there is no formal agreement.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON highlighted the things  that would help apprenticeship                                                               
programs for all the trades going forward.                                                                                      
     • Increased funding for school career and technical                                                                        
       education programs and classes                                                                                           
     • Incentives for partnerships between high schools and non-                                                                
       profit training programs                                                                                                 
     • Increased education on alternative career pathways                                                                       
     • Increased STEP grant funding                                                                                             
     • Increased funding for workforce development, including                                                                   
       for instructors                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:31:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REVAK noted  that he took advantage  of home construction                                                               
courses through  all four years  of high school and  it benefited                                                               
his personal development.  He opined that the  committee needs to                                                               
hear about  these kinds  of opportunity and  he looks  forward to                                                               
finding ways to bridge the gap.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:32:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON asked for an explanation of the STEP Grant.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON  said STEP  stands for  State Training  and Employment                                                               
Program. Organizations, industry trainers  and others qualify for                                                               
the   funding  by   offering  credentialed,   industry-recognized                                                               
classes. He noted that many but  not all ACTT classes qualify for                                                               
the STEP grant funding.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON amount  of  the line  item  for that  grant                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOLTON  replied the  maximum  one  organization is  able  to                                                               
receive is  $400,000. For  FY 1022, ACTT  received a  little over                                                               
$377,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  requested an  explanation  of  the Alaska  Works                                                               
Partnership with ACTT.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOLTON  explained that  Alaska Works  Partnership (AWP)  is a                                                               
nonprofit  and ACTT  is  a  dues paying  member.  He offered  his                                                               
understanding  that   AWP  is  primarily  grant-funded   and  its                                                               
introductory level  training is open  to the general  public. The                                                               
trade classes  are taught  by a  union or  trade representatives.                                                               
Carpentry  courses are  all taught  by union  carpenters and  the                                                               
pile driver  and welding programs  are held at the  ACTT training                                                               
center.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO thanked him for the presentation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:36:15 PM slow                                                                                                               
CHAIR  COSTELLO reconvened  the  meeting  and introduced  Michael                                                               
Holcomb  and Cory  Baxter  who talk  about  the Alaska  Operating                                                               
Engineers/Employers Training Trust.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:36:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE      HOLCOMB,      Administrator,      Alaska      Operating                                                               
Engineers/Employers Training  Trust, Palmer, Alaska,  delivered a                                                               
presentation  about  the   Alaska  Operating  Engineers/Employers                                                               
Training   Trust.  He   explained  that   the  Alaska   Operating                                                               
Engineers/Employers Training  Trust (AOEETT) is a  501(c)(3) non-                                                               
profit.  AOEETT   runs  a  federally   registered  apprenticeship                                                               
program that has about 140  operator, mechanic, and service oiler                                                               
apprentices. These apprentices are  employed by union contractors                                                               
from large civil  construction companies in the state  to work on                                                               
construction roadwork,  heavy duty mechanics, and  steel building                                                               
assembly. AOEETT  provides apprentice and  journey-level training                                                               
for 1,500 to 1,800 IUOE Local  302 members annually. As with most                                                               
unions,  member contributions  along with  STEP and  other grants                                                               
fund  the program.  The classes  include safety,  skills upgrade,                                                               
and certifications required to work in in Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:38:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HOLCOMB  displayed  images of  the  training  facilities  in                                                               
Palmer  and Fairbanks.  The  Palmer facility  is  located on  163                                                               
acres;  has a  200'  X  80' indoor  arena  where heavy  equipment                                                               
classes are held  from October to May when the  ground outside is                                                               
frozen; a 10,000 square foot shop  that is being doubled in size;                                                               
and  a  12,000  square  foot building  that  houses  offices  and                                                               
classrooms.  When the  remodel is  finished, the  Palmer facility                                                               
will  have  17 classrooms.  The  Fairbanks  facility is  a  4,800                                                               
square  foot  shop located  at  the  Fairbanks Pipeline  Training                                                               
Center. The  training here  is the  same as in  Palmer, but  on a                                                               
smaller scale.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLCOMB  directed attention to  the images inside  the Palmer                                                               
indoor arena  that give a  sense of  the excavation and  line and                                                               
grade classes. The image on the  lower right of slide 4 simulates                                                               
the work that  would be done to bury utilities.  The image of the                                                               
lower  left simulates  a mass  excavation. The  image on  slide 5                                                               
illustrates  the process  to  accomplish  paving in  Southcentral                                                               
Alaska in December  and slide 6 shows the progress  of the 10,000                                                               
square  foot expansion  of the  maintenance  facility in  Palmer.                                                               
This  will  add  six  classrooms,  three of  which  are  labs.  A                                                               
computer lab is also an important addition.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:42:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HOLCOMB highlighted  the  onsite  equipment, which  includes                                                               
more than 60 units of  earthmoving, paving, and lifting equipment                                                               
that is used on a  construction site; seven on-highway CDL trucks                                                               
and  trailers; and  eight equipment  simulators,  which are  very                                                               
helpful  for controls  familiarization. Simulators  have improved                                                               
the  performance  of  first  year   apprentices.  He  noted  that                                                               
contractors  have  demanded  that   all  first  year  apprentices                                                               
qualify for a class A CDL.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOLCOMB   restated  that   the  apprenticeship   program  is                                                               
federally  sponsored through  the U.S.  Department of  Labor. The                                                               
current  occupations  are:  1) Heavy  Equipment  Operator,  which                                                               
requires 6,000  hours of on-the-job-training (OJT)  training with                                                               
the contractors; 2) Heavy Duty  Mechanic requires 8,000 OJT hours                                                               
of  training;  and  3) Lubrication  Service  Technician  requires                                                               
5,000  OJT   hours.  The  total  required   classroom  hours  for                                                               
mechanics and operators is 12  weeks before dispatch. Thereafter,                                                               
a minimum  of 80 hours  of upgrade  training per years.  He noted                                                               
that  there were  150 active  apprentices  as of  this month,  60                                                               
entered the  program this  year, and  the training  trustees just                                                               
approved a second intake of  apprentices for the year. The demand                                                               
is expected to outstrip the supply this year.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:46:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REVAK  asked how  AOEETT gages how  much to  increase the                                                               
intake of apprentices.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLCOMB  replied a  lot is  based on  the projects  that have                                                               
been  bid and  awarded and  the apprenticeship  hours that  those                                                               
jobs will bring.  He described it as something of  a crystal ball                                                               
best guess;  factors that must  be considered  include graduation                                                               
rates,  dropout rates,  and the  anticipated  workload. He  noted                                                               
that  he   would  discuss   supply  and   demand  later   in  the                                                               
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLCOMB  highlighted that the  starting wage  for apprentices                                                               
is  60 percent  of full  scale or  about $24.00  per hour  plus a                                                               
fringe. Every  1,000 hours,  depending on  the level  of training                                                               
and the occupation,  the worker receives a  raise. Operators, for                                                               
example, start  at 60 percent  then bump  to 70 percent,  then 80                                                               
percent, then in 5 percent increments to full scale.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO noted the tight timeline for the committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:49:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HOLCOMB turned  to slide 9 that  showed apprentice statistics                                                               
and  acknowledged  that  some areas  needed  more  outreach.  For                                                               
example, six  veterans just graduated,  but that left  just three                                                               
veterans in  the program. He  described 21  percent participation                                                               
by Alaska Natives  as respectable then noted that  the 23 females                                                               
in  the  program  represented  just   17  percent  of  the  total                                                               
enrollment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He briefly mentioned AOEETT's  outreach partnerships with schools                                                               
listed on slide 10. These  included the following schools: Alaska                                                               
Vocational  Technical  Center  (AVTEC),  King  Tech  High  School                                                               
(KCC),  University  of  Alaska Southeast  (UAS),  Hutchison  High                                                               
School,  Anchorage School  District (ASD),  Fairbanks North  Star                                                               
School  District (FNSD),  and Mat-Su  Career &  Tech High  School                                                               
(Career Tech).  He noted  that AOEETT works  with Career  Tech on                                                               
the  Skills  USA  national competition  to  host  the  hydraulics                                                               
competition. The winner has the  option for direct entry into the                                                               
apprenticeship program.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOLCOMB  briefly mentioned  the outreach  partnerships listed                                                               
on slide 11.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
   • Alaska Works Partnership                                                                                                   
   • Partners for Progress in Delta that offers three-week                                                                      
     programs mostly with Technical Vocational Education Program                                                                
     (TVEP) funds                                                                                                               
   • Classes for Knik Tribal                                                                                                    
   • Classes at the Department of Corrections (DOC) Highland                                                                    
     Mountain Correctional Center                                                                                               
   • Fairbanks North Star School District                                                                                       
   • Blade classes for the Department of Transportation and                                                                     
     Public Facilities (DOTPF) through the Fairbanks Pipeline                                                                   
     Training Center                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:51:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HOLCOMB listed  the craft partnerships at  both the Fairbanks                                                               
Pipeline Training Center and the Palmer Training Center.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center                                                                                            
   • Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 375                                                                                          
   • Teamsters Local 959                                                                                                        
   • Laborers Local 341                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Palmer Training Center                                                                                                        
   • Iron Workers Local 751 to do erection simulation classes                                                                   
   • Masons & Plasterers local 528                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOLCOMB  mentioned  the  classes that  are  offered  at  the                                                               
training  facilities: 13  safety; 4  commercial driver's  license                                                               
(CDL); 8  crane; 6 Grade/GPS;  14 Heavy Equipment; 10  Heavy Duty                                                               
Mechanic; 4 Electrical; 6 Welding; and 4 Pipeline.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:52:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HOLCOMB returned  to  the  topic of  supply  and demand  and                                                               
described the projected projects bulleted on slide 14.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
   • $3.5 Billion for rural sanitation (nationally)                                                                             
   • $3.4 Billion over 5 years for highway improvements                                                                         
     (nationally)                                                                                                               
   • $367+ Million Increased Port of Alaska modernization                                                                       
     improvements                                                                                                               
   • $225 Million in bridge repair                                                                                              
   • More than $700 million currently awarded and upcoming for                                                                  
     highway improvements in 2021 and 2022                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOLCOMB  said AOEETT  is  already  getting calls  about  the                                                               
availability of  apprentices for  the upcoming season.  He opined                                                               
that  to meet  the  forecast  demand, the  push  to increase  the                                                               
numbers  of apprentices  probably should  have started  two years                                                               
ago.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:53:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HOLCOMB reviewed AOEETT's annual costs.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   • Budget = $3.5 to $4 million                                                                                                
   • Labor = +-$2 million                                                                                                       
   • Fuel/Maintenance = $300 thousand                                                                                           
   • Expenses = $1 - $1.5 million                                                                                               
   • Expansion = $2.3 million                                                                                                   
   • New Equipment = $175 thousand                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOLCOMB  offered  potential   solutions  to  AOEETT's  tight                                                               
budget:   increase   STEP   funding,  increase   the   apprentice                                                               
utilization ration from 1:20, and  a state requirement to utilize                                                               
a certain number of apprentice hours.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He  concluded  the   presentation  with  an  image   of  the  new                                                               
apprenticeship  pamphlet. He  related  that  apprentices will  be                                                               
accepted  starting   in  April   and  will  be   done  biannually                                                               
thereafter.   He  expressed   hope   for   robust  interest   and                                                               
participation. He noted  that his contact information  was on the                                                               
final slide.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:55:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  thanked him for  the presentation and  noted that                                                               
she  had toured  the Palmer  Training Center.  She described  the                                                               
indoor arena as innovative.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   REVAK  thanked   Mr.   Holcomb   for  the   informative                                                               
presentation and  relayed that Senator  Bishop was very  proud of                                                               
the work he was doing.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:56:57 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
25749                                                                                                                           
2:57:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO reconvened  the meeting  and recognized  the next                                                               
presenter would  be Ryan Andrew,  the assistant  business manager                                                               
for IBEW Local 1547.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:58:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Revak.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:58:48 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR REVAK welcomed Mr. Andrew.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:59:04 PM                                                                                                                    
RYAN   ANDREW,   Assistant    Business   Manager,   International                                                               
Brotherhood  of  Electrical  Workers (IBEW),  Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
Delivered a presentation on Alaska  Workforce Development and the                                                               
Infrastructure  Investment and  Jobs Act.  thanked the  committee                                                               
for  inviting him  to talk  about workforce  development and  the                                                               
Infrastructure  Investment and  Jobs Act  (IIJA). He  stated that                                                               
the IBEW represents more than 4,000  workers in Alaska in a broad                                                               
range of  jobs, but  today he would  focus on  apprenticeships in                                                               
the electrical/construction industry.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREW  began  the  presentation  by  describing  the  joint                                                               
apprenticeship  model and  how  it is  used  in the  construction                                                               
industry.  These  programs  and administered  jointly  by  labor,                                                               
which is  the union representing  the workforce,  and management,                                                               
which  are the  employers  in the  industry.  These programs  are                                                               
funded by  employer contributions, which  are based on  the hours                                                               
worked  on  the  project.  The   apprenticeship  model  has  been                                                               
extensively  used  in  the  construction  industry.  It  produces                                                               
excellent  results as  labor and  management cooperate  to ensure                                                               
the  proper  training  for  all  apprentices.  The  programs  are                                                               
registered with the U.S. Department  of Labor for added assurance                                                               
that the proper administration of training occurs.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREW turned  to slide 3 to discuss  the electrical industry                                                               
in Alaska and the joint  apprenticeship between the International                                                               
Brotherhood  of  Electrical  Workers  (IBEW)Local  1545  and  the                                                               
Alaska   Chapter   of   the   National   Electrical   Contractors                                                               
Association  (NECA).  He  explained  that  this  is  a  statewide                                                               
training  program that  consists of  a combination  of on-the-job                                                               
experience and  related classroom  instruction for  the industry.                                                               
The three most common disciplines  in the electrical industry are                                                               
1)  journey-level electrician,  which are  the workers  doing the                                                               
electrical   work  inside   buildings;  2)   journey-level  power                                                               
lineman, which are  the individuals who work  outside on overhead                                                               
powerlines; and journey-level  telecommunications workers who are                                                               
responsible  for   installing  infrastructure  and   cabling  for                                                               
telephone uses.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:02:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDREW explained  that each of the  three disciplines require                                                               
8,000 hours  of on-the-job  experience and  about 1,000  hours of                                                               
classroom  instruction. After  about four  or five  years in  the                                                               
program,  the  apprentice   will  achieve  journey-level  status.                                                               
Apprentices  are put  in  an  applicant pool  then  placed on  an                                                               
eligibility  list  after they  interview  and  selected based  on                                                               
industry   demand.   He   noted   that  an   advantage   of   the                                                               
apprenticeship  model  is  that  it is  scalable  to  accommodate                                                               
increased demand  for workers. However,  the size of  the program                                                               
is  limited  by  the  number of  positions  available  to  employ                                                               
apprentices. He  noted that the  number of  first-year apprentice                                                               
positions is particularly limited.  It is an additional challenge                                                               
when employers  are not  willing to hire  and invest  in training                                                               
apprentices.  He agreed  with  Mr. Plikat  about  the benefit  of                                                               
requiring employers to hire a  certain percentage of apprentices.                                                               
It is crucial for the development of the future workforce.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREW highlighted  the challenge  of  accessing funding  to                                                               
meet  increased  demand  for  training.  He  explained  that  the                                                               
availability of  funding is directly  proportional to  the number                                                               
of work  hours, and there is  a slight lag. Contributions  to the                                                               
program  are  based   on  the  hours  of   work  currently  being                                                               
performed,  so  funding is  not  immediately  available to  start                                                               
additional  training. Another  challenge for  this apprenticeship                                                               
program  is the  increased  cost of  obtaining commercial  driver                                                               
license  (CDL)  training, in  part  because  of the  new  federal                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:05:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ANDREW stated  that a  potential solution  to alleviate  the                                                               
bottleneck associated  with having too few  first-year apprentice                                                               
positions  would  be  to  adjust   the  requirements  to  utilize                                                               
apprentices.  The  requirement  could   be  project  specific  or                                                               
broader to  cover multiple  projects. He  noted that  the typical                                                               
measure  is as  a percentage  of  the overall  workforce, but  it                                                               
could be a  percentage of the work hours for  a particular craft.                                                               
He said the earlier suggestions  to bring enough apprentices to a                                                               
project were excellent.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREW offered potential funding solutions.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   • Increase the funding for State Training and Employment                                                                     
     Program (STEP) grants that are administered through the                                                                    
     Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF).                                                                
   • The IBEW program uses STEP funds to help with training                                                                     
     costs related to the CDL requirements, and to support                                                                      
     apprentices who travel from rural Alaska to the Anchorage                                                                  
     and Fairbanks training sites for classroom training.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREW  stated that  a  potential  solution to  develop  the                                                               
additional  workforce  would  be  to increase  funding  for  pre-                                                               
apprenticeship  programs.  He   highlighted  the  excellent  pre-                                                               
apprenticeship  training that  Alaska  Works Partnership  offers.                                                               
Pre-apprenticeship programs  are an opportunity to  "try out" the                                                               
trade.  They  are  an  essential   component  of  recruiting  and                                                               
preparing candidates for apprenticeships.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREW concluded the presentation  by highlighting IBEW Local                                                               
1547's partnership with King Tech  High School in Anchorage. High                                                               
school  graduates  who  have taken  the  electricity  course  are                                                               
granted  direct   entry  into  the  apprenticeship   program.  He                                                               
encouraged anyone  who receives  an invitation to  the graduation                                                               
signing ceremony to  attend. For these graduates it  is opening a                                                               
door  to  a great  career  right  out  of  high school.  He  also                                                               
highlighted  the  pre-apprenticeship Veterans'  Electrical  Entry                                                               
Program  (VEEP). Veterans  who are  in  the final  six months  of                                                               
service are  able to complete the  nationally certified classroom                                                               
training  for a  first  year apprenticeship.  After the  veterans                                                               
separate, they  can be placed  in apprenticeships  throughout the                                                               
country.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON   thanked  all   the  presenters   for  the                                                               
educational presentations.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR REVAK  echoed her comments and  expressed his personal                                                               
appreciation for the efforts to employ veterans.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:13:01 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Vice  Chair  Revak  adjourned  the   Senate  Labor  and  Commerce                                                               
Standing Committee meeting at 3:13 p.m.