DATE: February 22, 2001      NO: 01-41

CONTACT: Tom Hall PHONE: (907) 465-5956

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release


The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) is warning foreign workers that they are being misled about job opportunities in Alaska and the United States.

“Alaska’s Job Centers and private sector employment offices are being inundated with phone calls, letters and e-mail from South Africans looking for work in Alaska,” said Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan. “These people need to be aware that contacting us is a waste of their time and their hard-earned money, unless they are a United States citizen or have the legal right to work here.” 

Tom Hall in charge of foreign labor certification for DOL says people are being charged for a book of names, addresses, and phone numbers of people who are supposedly hiring for the fishing season with the understanding that contacting any one will guarantee them a job in Alaska. 

“It’s all public information that wouldn’t necessarily get them a job even if they were residents," Hall said. "This is information that's lifted from phone books. It's a scam that's been going on in the United States for years. Now it's spread overseas. While it’s an inconvenience for us, it's creating a real hardship for these people who are spending anywhere from $30 to $40 for useless information." 

Flanagan said Alaska Job Centers assist callers to the extent that they can, by referring them to the proper channels. But he warns that staff does not have the resources to answer email and letters from out of the country and encourages people to contact local consulates for assistance before attempting to contact anyone in the United States or Alaska. 

The United States Department of Labor Web Site contains information on how to get a work permit in the United States here

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