Governor Parnell addresses high school students statewide from Auke Lake Campus
Governor Sean Parnell urged the students to follow their passions, whether they end up working in the mining industry or not.
More than 50 high school students taking an “Introduction to Mining Occupations” course had quite the guest speaker on the first day of class Tuesday, Jan. 22. Governor Sean Parnell urged the students to follow their passions, whether they end up working in the mining industry or not. The governor was the first of many guest speakers the class will hear from this semester. Instructor Mike Bell worked at Hecla Greens Creek Mine before becoming director of the Center for Mine Training at UAS. This is the second year Bell has taught the class, which is designed for high school juniors and seniors. Last year, enrollment was limited to 20 students, all from Juneau. But this year, with the help of video conferencing equipment, there are 55 students statewide, from the Northwest Arctic Borough to remote parts of Southeast. In his remarks Governor Parnell talked about the importance of keeping mining jobs in Alaska. He praised UAS for teaching Alaska students the skills needed to perform those jobs. The Department of Education and Early Development is one of several partners that provided support to make the class possible. That includes mining companies like Hecla Greens Creek, which donated $300,000 to the University of Alaska Foundation in 2011 to help create the mine training program. -Casey Kelly, KTOO Radio News. Read and hear the full report from KTOO.