$3.35 M grant will support job training

A $3.35 million federal grant awarded to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development will fund programs to train workers who lost their jobs because of layoffs or business closures and need new skills to find work in other areas.

The two-year funding from the U.S. Department of Labor will help these workers prepare for occupations in the state’s fastest growing sectors: health care, construction and maritime industries, state labor officials said. Given the state’s aging workforce, there will be an increased demand for qualified workers in all sectors, and this money will boost existing training and support services provided by the state’s job center network, they said.

Dislocated Worker Grants support state, tribal and non-profit entities that implement innovative skills training and career services for people seeking reemployment as the economy and corresponding workforce needs change.

“This funding supports our steadfast commitment to Alaska Hire and a robust, skilled workforce” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “It is critical that Alaskans who need to transition careers are ready to go to work in these high demand occupations, and the department is eager to assist in that process.”

This funding will help fill jobs in occupations including welders and pipefitters, operating engineers, truck drivers, laborers, electricians and mechanics on high paying jobs on major projects, such as the Alaska LNG gasline, said Gov. Bill Walker.

The grants will be available through the job centers for dislocated workers and will come in diverse forms.

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These include training that leads to industry recognized credentials and employment, pre-apprenticeship opportunities in health care and construction industry occupations, support for newly entering Registered Apprenticeships and direct employment referrals

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