The Trident Seafood Corp. facility is seen at Akutan. Photo courtesy of Trident Seafoods

With an eye to the greying of skilled trades workers vital to the health of the seafood industry, Trident Seafoods is expanding its efforts to assure that more of them vital to the seafood harvesting and processing industry are available when needed. 

Trident Seafoods announced on Oct. 12 that it will add a new class of 10 students to its Skilled Trades Trainee Program, which began in 2022 with a class of four. Given that program’s overwhelming success, the company has budgeted for 10 trainees to begin their studies in the fall of 2024.  

“The time for companies to invest in the skilled trades is right now, especially in Alaska,” said John Ozburn, vice president and global HR business partner at Trident Seafoods.  

“As much as the fishing industry is currently dealing with a ‘greying of the fleet,’ the processing side is dealing with a ‘greying of the trades,’” he said.  

It’s now or never when it comes to finding innovative solutions that will ensure these roles are filled. The constant challenge for Trident, as well as the rest of the industry, is finding workers with the right combination of skills and experience for the work. So, we said, ‘if we can’t find them, we’ll invest in training them ourselves.’” 

Trainees are exposed to multiple skilled trades during their first year of the program, thanks to a partnership of Trident with the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC). Trident developed the two-year skilled trades course with an additional two-year commitment of employment with the company itself. Main areas of study the first year will be construction and general building maintenance welding lathe and milling, and electrical refrigeration diesel mechanics and safety.  


For the second-year students currently may pick from welding, refrigeration, diesel mechanics, electrical or construction. Trident is also working to build out automation/programable logic controllers.  

In the third and fourth years some students will be plant based and some will work on Trident’s project support teams that travel, depending on special projects. 

To date the program has four students in year two of the program and 10 others in year one of the program. All 14 trainees vary in their professional backgrounds and experience, but, said Trident officials, they are all united in their pursuit of bettering their lives advancing their careers and helping Trident fulfill its mission of responsibly sharing wild Alaska seafood with the world. 

Applications to join Trident’s 2024 Skilled Trades Trainee Program will be accepted March 1- March 31 of next year. More information is online at Trident’s Careers website.