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New workforce plan to meet Alaska workforce shortages

March 26, 2024 
No. 24-6

JUNEAU — The Alaska Safety Alliance and the State of Alaska (SOA) with support from the Denali Commission have joined to create a unique cross-industry workforce development plan to address critical labor shortages that impact every industry, nonprofit, government agency and community in Alaska.

More than 10,000 posted jobs are unfilled in Alaska today. Yet our economy is growing. An estimated 5,400 new jobs will be created in 2024 and over 5,000 more will be created in 2025. Alaska is poised for over $20 billion in new infrastructure and resource development projects by 2030. An additional 20,000 new workers may be needed to complete those projects.

“Alaska is on the verge of a new period of economic growth, we want to ensure that the State of Alaska is positioned to work alongside industry to capitalize on this new period of growth” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “For this reason, I have directed the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to partner on this new workforce plan with industry leaders so that we’re meeting our current challenges together.”

Workforce 2030 – The Alaska Plan has four initial objectives:

  • Develop a workforce compatible with the diverse needs of Alaska's employers and the workers.
  • Build talent pipelines that recruit, educate and train Alaskans for occupations in high demand.
  • Reduce the outmigration of Alaska talent.
  • Strengthen economic development through workforce development in every region.

An Industry Advisory Council (IAC) guides strategic planning to achieve the objectives. IAC members represent air transportation, trucking, maritime, oil & gas, construction, telecommunications, mining, property management, health care, education, and government. The IAC has designated communication and collaboration among employers, educators, and government agencies as a top priority.

A new Workforce 2030 website will serve as an information and communication platform for employers, associations, educators, workers, and the public.

The Industry Advisory Council is forming Interest Groups to engage industry associations, economic development organizations, Alaska Native Corporations, tribes, secondary and postsecondary educators, organized labor, state and local government employers and others in the planning process. Discussions and exchanges with a diverse range of interested parties will be held statewide. The Interest Groups will provide information about workforce needs, effective workforce development programs, talent pipeline best practices, and specific action steps industry and government can take to close skills gaps and fill jobs. To learn more about joining an Interest Group, visit the website.

Additional information about workforce challenges, planning activities, relevant state and national workforce development research reports, and Alaska’s industry sector workforce plans is available on the website. The website will also serve as a platform for public forums and surveys.

The final Workforce 2030 Plan will examine the current workforce landscape, project industry job growth, determine which occupations will be most in demand, and assess the potential labor demand from infrastructure and resource development projects. It will also analyze public employee labor supply gaps, trends in working age resident outmigration, state and regional training capacity, and ways to scale up education and training programs and develop new programs to close skills gaps.

Employer feedback is crucial as the plan is being developed. We encourage employers to participate in an online Employer Survey.

To learn more about the Workforce 2030 Plan, please visit the website: