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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Alaska Workforce Investment Board will meet in Ketchikan beginning on Wednesday for the first time in the board’s history.
The two-day meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday with an address by Labor Commissioner Dianne Blumer at the Sunny Point Conference Center at the Best Western Landing Hotel and Restaurant.
The board will get regional workforce updates from board members in the morning, as well as a budget update from Brynn Keith, acting deputy labor commissioner.
Doug Ward, director of development for Alaska Ship and Drydock, is a member of the board. He said in the announcement of the meeting that the visit to Ketchikan "marks a significant new focus by the board upon direct engagement of regional employers, community leaders, and training providers in Alaska’s workforce development system ... (putting the board) in direct contact with the private sector employers who are creating jobs in Southeast Alaska." He said it would give the state a "firsthand understanding of Southeast Alaska’s employment trends and workforce needs."
A public comment period is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. until a break for lunch at noon. At 12:45 p.m. the board will discuss the 2013 legislative session and the performance of state workforce training providers.
A panel on Ketchikan’s workforce, business and industry will be held at 1:45 p.m. at the conference center, and at 3 p.m. there will be a panel discussing Ketchikan’s workforce and economic training providers.
The board will travel Ketchikan on a bus tour beginning at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, and will meet to discuss the tour and Wednesday’s panels at 1 p.m. The tour will include Ward Cove industrial site, the Ketchikan Shipyard, tug and barge operations, health care services, cruise ship berths, downtown retail district, fuel import operations, and Saxman’s totem park, seaport, and hydroelectric projects. Guests can join the tour if seating is available, according to Blumer’s office.
The board will meet next on May 21 in South Central Alaska.