DATE: June 14, 2000         NO: 00-56

CONTACT: Laurie Fuglvog     Phone:  (907) 465-5955

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

PETERSBURG JOB CENTER ISSUES BIG CALL FOR SEAFOOD WORKERS
250 Workers Needed by July 5, 2000

Local seafood companies need at least 250 more seafood workers to be ready for work by July 5, announced Valori Enge, manager of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Petersburg Job Center.

Located approximately 100 miles south of Juneau on Southeast Alaska's Inside Passage, Petersburg is accessible by ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System or by jet or airplane service. Petersburg's canneries and freezer plants buy and process salmon from all over Southeast Alaska creating jobs for seafood workers from mid-July through the first week of September.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a strong pink salmon return for all of Southeast Alaska in 2000, with a harvest prediction range of 36 to 50 million fish. Southeast gillnet fishing for pink salmon begins June 18 and Southeast purse seine fishing begins June 22. The pink salmon season gets very busy for workers in mid to late July, peaks in mid-August and drops off the first week of September. The chum salmon returns in Southeast Alaska this year are estimated to be strong with 15 million fish. The season extends into September.

Seafood companies in Petersburg are offering various incentives to workers who complete the salmon season, which ends between September 5th and 10th. For those who complete their contracts, companies are offering a variety of incentives including bonuses, housing discounts, and travel vouchers to offset transportation costs. The starting wage also has increased over 1999.

Workers who go to Petersburg will find that in addition to being located in the beautiful Tongass National Forest on a scenic island community of only 4,000 people, all of Petersburg's seafood companies have bunkhouse space and cook house facilities available. The City of Petersburg operates a "tent city" with platforms for camping and a monthly rate.

For information on how to apply, go to the "Seafood Jobs In Alaska" website at: www.jobs.state.ak.us and click on "Seafood Jobs." In Alaska you may contact your nearest Alaska Job Center or call the toll-free Seafood Employment Unit number at 1-800-473-0688. You may also call the Petersburg Job Center at (907)772-3791.

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