Date of Press Release: October 7, 2013
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Sitka Campus will receive $2.5M for the growth and expansion of its Fisheries Technology degree program. The grant will foster the training and job preparation of a fisheries workforce in communities from Southeast Alaska to the Bering Sea. The award, which extends over four years, will allow students in coastal communities the opportunity to complete their coursework without leaving home. The grant advances the University’s Fisheries/Seafood/Maritime Initiative (FSMI), which involves collaboration with university and industry partners throughout Alaska.
To meet the goals of the grant, UAS will work with community campuses not only in Southeast Alaska but in communities like Kodiak, Homer, Bristol Bay, and Bethel. Employing a combination of online coursework and regional fieldwork, labs and practicums, students will be able to earn occupational endorsements, certificates, and degrees in Fisheries Technology. According to Sitka Campus Director Jeff Johnston, “This grant will allow us to prepare students for employment in Alaska’s fisheries, seafood, and maritime industries. Industry-based internships that will feature competency-based assessments that have been developed in partnerships with employers and industry partners will provide ‘work-ready’ applicants to fill existing and anticipated job openings with qualified Alaskans." Seafood Products Association’s Vice President of Product Services, Bruce C. Odegaard, stated in his support for this grant that “building the skills and competencies of workers entering the Alaska seafood industry is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of the industry in the growing global economy.”
According to UAS Provost Dr. Rick Caulfield, "this grant focuses on creating a skilled Alaskan workforce for fisheries, seafood, and maritime industries. While based at UAS, the program involves statewide partnerships with employers and with UAA and UAF. We appreciate this vote of support for our Fisheries Technology program from the US Department of Labor and our industry partners.”
The grant was made through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program under the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.