DATE:  May 23, 2001     NO: 01-61

CONTACT:  J.Pennelope Goforth PHONE: (907) 269-4747
CONTACT: Laurie Fuglvog PHONE: (907) 465-5955

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

2001 Traveling Seafood Workforce Program Under Way
Labor and Industry Provide Workforce That Can “Move with the Fish”

For the third year, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Labor) is implementing the Traveling Seafood Workforce Program to keep seafood plants operating with qualified workers throughout the fish processing season. Last year, the program successfully moved over 70 laid-off seasonal seafood workers in Naknek and King Salmon to plants needing workers in Southeast Alaska, Kodiak region, Dutch Harbor, among other areas in Alaska.

“These workers are highly motivated with proven skills and abilities,” said Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan. “The project is a great way to get qualified Alaskans working throughout the season in one of the state’s largest industries.”

To move workers during the critical Bristol Bay salmon season, Labor is again opening a temporary seafood employment office in Naknek from June 27, 2001 to July 17, 2001, located at #1 Stenvall Street in the old Naknek Civic Center Building. The center will help supply workers in the Naknek/King Salmon area to new jobs in other areas of Alaska where they will be needed to process salmon and pollock. Seafood companies interested in lining up these experienced workers can work directly with Labor’s seafood employment specialists on an on-call basis during the peak of the salmon-processing season.

“The 2000 Traveling Seafood Workforce Program provided experienced, proven cannery workers when we needed them and reduced transportation and recruiting costs,” said recruiter Jeff Miller of Norquest Seafoods. “It was a major contributor to the Mitkof Cannery where one third of the workers came from this program.”

Companies in the Naknek/King Salmon area historically pay round-trip transportation costs when workers complete their contracts. If a group of workers in the Naknek area is interested in transferring to a new company in Petersburg, for example, the Seafood Unit representatives at the Seafood Employment Office in Naknek liaison between the two companies. Seafood companies that are planning in advance to move workers may contact the Seafood Employment Unit liaison staff now at (907) 465-5955. Workers must have completed contracts in Naknek/King Salmon before they can participate.


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