UAS News

UAS Creates First University of Alaska Workforce Credential

Juneau, Alaska
Date of Press Release: Nov. 22, 2011

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Center for Mine Training has created the University of Alaska’s first formal "Workforce Credential"—a non-credit credential focusing on Entry Level Production Miner training. Chancellor John Pugh approved the credential, which was developed in partnership with local mines and the UA’s Mining and Petroleum Training Service. This is the first such credential approved anywhere in the university system.

"This new workforce credential enables Alaskans interested in mining careers to get the required entry level safety and mine orientation training that will make them more competitive candidates for jobs in the mining industry," said Mike Bell, Director of the UAS Center for Mine Training.

A major focus is on Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) training and personal certification, knowledge of basic mining terminology and practices, and use of both simulated and actual equipment used in underground mining. The entire program for the credential involves 240 hours, working with certified instructors.

The new credential enables UAS to formally recognize successful completion of this program, parts of which have been offered in recent years. "This credential brings together the interests and resources of the university, industry, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and others to provide an excellent entry level training program," said Director of the UA Mining and Petroleum Training Service Dennis Steffy.  "We’ve been working for years to see this come together."

Information about the new workforce credential can be found on the UAS website at:


Mike Bell

Director, UAS Center for Mine Training

(907) 796-6140