Resource Development Council

RDC Letter:
Support of Alaska Laborers’ Training School

February 6, 2012

Re: Funding request for Alaska Laborers’ Training School

Dear Members of the Alaska Legislature:

The Resource Development Council (RDC) is writing to support a state appropriation to help fund the construction of a much-needed housing project at the Alaska Laborers’ Training Facility in Anchorage.

RDC’s membership is comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, timber, tourism, and fisheries industries, as well as Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to link these diverse interests together to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

Approximately 60 percent of the funding needed to proceed with the project is already secured. The request for state funding is needed to proceed with construction. The project will greatly enhance the Alaska Laborers’ Training School, which since 2006 has certified an average of 2,671 skills annually. Many RDC members, including Alaska Native corporations, have had a productive and beneficial relationship with the school. The school provides high quality job training and skill certifications for Alaskans.

A suitable housing facility is essential to the training process. The facility would provide housing to those Alaskans traveling from remote villages and rural areas outside the Municipality of Anchorage. Many of the certifications required to work on major oil and gas, energy, and mining projects require weeks of class and shop time. With onsite housing, students can maximize their education experience.

Due to federal spending constraints, it does not appear that federal funds will be available to support the project. Therefore, RDC believes state funding is needed and appropriate, given the benefits of the facility to our statewide workforce.

As you know, Alaska has immense natural resources, and a number of large projects in our resource sectors offer the potential of new jobs and a bright future for our state. However, key to the responsible development of Alaska’s resources and the success of important projects benefitting the economy is a skilled workforce. The improved training center with onsite housing would grow the number of qualified workers from sectors ranging from health care to construction and benefit contractors throughout the state.

RDC believes the proposed training center with onsite housing is a win-win for Alaskans seeking skilled training in sectors that will help grow Alaska’s economy. We encourage your support

Resource Development Council for Alaska