DATE: February 22, 2001      NO: 01-40

CONTACT: Gerry McDonagh PHONE: (907) 269-4551 

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

152 Rural Residents to Benefit from $485,000 Denali Training Fund Grants\

Ten grants totaling $485,000 will be awarded to communities and training providers to provide job training to 152 rural residents, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) announced. 

"Job training is a key ingredient in successful economic development in rural communities," Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, state co-chair of the Denali Commission said. "The Denali Commission has made training a priority and these grants will make it a reality in many regions across Alaska."

"DOL staff conducted an extensive outreach program and met with over 100 rural community representatives to get the word out about the Denali Training Fund and training possibilities in their communities," Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan said. "This is only the first round of awards. We accept applications at any time and hope to see more training requests from the rural areas." 

Under the Fund, the following projects were recommended for funding by the review committee:

  • Association of Village Council Presidents: $100,000 to train 30 residents in Bethel region in construction trades, as part of renovating an airplane hangar building at the Bethel Airport into a training center for pilots and airframe and power mechanics

  •  City of Buckland: $25,000 to train 6 local residents in the construction trades in carpentry, plumbing and electrical fields, conducted through the Kotzebue Technical School.

  • Construction Truck Driver CDL-A, Forklift and Loader Operator, Hazardous Materials Training General Site Worker: $100,000 to train 15 participants in the transportation and construction industries through the Center for Employment Education. (Rural residents interested in CDL training should contact Cheri Howland at 1-800-478-4233.)

  • Circle Traditional Council: $10,000 to train 2 local residents in the fields of Hazardous Waste Operator, Hazardous Materials Transportation and Heavy Equipment Operator. The training will certify 2 operators to handle hazardous materials and operate the heavy equipment necessary for proper storage and environmental protection at the new landfill/dumpsite.

  • City of Elim: $50,000 to give the community a trained workforce to meet upcoming construction projects and long-term positions for their maintenance, including school and water upgrades, and a hazardous waste cleanup project at Moses Point.

  • King Salmon: $100,000 to the Alaska Works Partnership to train 40 local residents from Bristol Bay region to refurbish a building at King Salmon Air Force Base to a Vocational Education Center. The finished facility will provide a vocational and technical education center for the region's residents. Alaska Works Partnership will coordinate with Carpenters, Laborers, Plumbers, Electricians, and Painters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Programs. All training will occur at the project site.

  • City of Klawock: $25,000 to train 20 local residents in heavy equipment operations and water/wastewater operator training. 

  • Kongiganak Traditional Council: $25,000 to train 6 local residents in welding for the upcoming Consolidated Bulk Fuel Tank Farm Facility project.

  • Pile Drivers: $25,000 to train 8 rural Alaskans in piledriver welding aimed at local apprentices and journeymen residing in rural communities.

  • Ugashik Traditional Council: $25,000 to train 5 local residents in CDL and operator training for the Landfill Road Project, the Pilot Point road project, and infrastructure projects in other villages in the region.

The Denali Commission's mission is to provide critical utilities, infrastructure, and economic support throughout Alaska. The Commission established the Denali Training Fund to increase the skills of local residents in rural communities to enable them to work on these infrastructure projects, while at the same time increase their long-term employability. 

Return to Index