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Training partnership will lead to high-paying mining jobs for Tok area residents

Feb. 15, 2023
No. 23-3

JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) is providing a $300,000 grant to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Mining and Training Petroleum Service (MAPTS) to train local residents for jobs at the Kinross-operated Manh Choh project located on Tetlin tribal land near Tok.

"Our department created a pilot project following Gov. Mike Dunleavy's tour of the Delta Mine Training Center last year. The pilot project will support the training of up to 28 residents from the Tok area and bring high-paying jobs to the rural community. This is a win-win for all involved," stated Acting Commissioner Cathy Muñoz.

"We are excited about the new job opportunities that Manh Choh will provide Tok residents interested in working on the project," said Meg Smith, Human Resources Manager for Manh Choh. "The partnership between the DOLWD, MAPTS and theKinross-operated Manh Choh project is an example of how to prepare a local workforce for mining careers that are in high demand in Alaska. We are already scheduling several job fairs for the week of March 21st in the surrounding communities."

DOWLD funding provides unique Surface Mine Training necessary for employment at Manh Choh. This training provides both the actual skills necessary for entry level surface mine related jobs and the employability skills necessary to continue employment. Many of these lifelong skills are transferrable. According to leading researcher McDowell, the average wage of an employee at the Manh Choh mine employee will be more than $130,000 annually, excluding benefits, providing families with an excellent quality of life.


The Manh Choh project is a joint venture with Contango ORE and is located on Tetlin tribal land near Tok. The Native Village of Tetlin owns both the surface and subsurface rights. Plans are to start producing gold in 2024 with a focus on local hire and optimizing local businesses. The project will truck the high-grade ore to Fort Knox for processing, which reduces the environmental footprint by removing the need for a tailings facility.