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Stay home. Save the expense of a trip to Alaska. The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., says it's sending protesters to the Alaska Native Heritage Center on June 1.

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10/11/2013
Building people

Ketchikan Indian Community will have quite the campus before it's done.

It is in the midst of remodeling its second building at the corner of Stedman and Deermount streets where it has been developing a vocational education center.

The second building will provide housing and offices for social services to accommodate participants in its Southern Southeast Alaska Technical Development Center. The center focuses on workforce training.

Vocational trainees will be able to live on the top floor of the building, much like at a college or university.

On the bottom floor, social services office staff will assist trainees in acquiring GEDs, drivers licenses, meeting drug-screening requirements and assessments of work skills.

In other words, the social services staff will help trainees to understand what it takes to be employable in addition to acquiring training for specific skills needed in the Ketchikan workforce.

This is extremely valuable to a segment of the Southeast population that won't learn about employability anywhere else.

Some learn what it takes to get a job during their upbringing.

That isn't the case for all young people, and unless someone tells them or shows them, they don't understand.

It becomes a necessity in schools, such as the vocational education center.

KIC representatives are very excited about their accomplishments to date, as they should be.

Their efforts have and will lead to jobs for Alaskans who might not ever be able to get or keep one otherwise.

It's the difference between a person going nowhere and a person making a good life, with good life-skills habits, tending to responsibilities and contributing to society.

KIC is building up people — the region's workforce — and Southeast Alaska simultaneously.