State, District, Preparing Students for the Workplace


Jay Barrett/KMXT

A conference was held Tuesday in Kodiak bringing together employers and educators to brainstorm how to better prepare Kodiak students for the workforce of the future.

Jerry Andrews is the apprenticeship coordinator for the Alaska Department of Labor and Work Force Development. He says his boss, Commissioner Click Bishop, and Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux, are together seeking a solution.

(Voc Ed 1 27 sec "Commissioner Bishop and … education work together.")

Andrews says he first came to Kodiak over 30 years ago as an apprentice Caterpillar mechanic for N-C Machinery:

(Voc Ed 2 35 sec "And today I got thinking … right here in the community.")

He says each year $1-point-7 billion leaves the state of Alaska in the pockets of Outside wage-earners.

Superintendant Stewart McDonald credits School Board Member Jeff Stephan with posing the questions that got the ball rolling on the conference and better preparing local students for local jobs. Stephan said he first wondered what the district and the community could do to get more students into the marine sciences, and it grew from there:

(Voc Ed 3 49 sec "So many of these people … Juneau even, or whatever.")

McDonald said the district is prepared to take what steps it needs to – even changing the curriculum down to the kindergarten level:

(Voc Ed 4 24 sec "We will have on-going … the way through 12th grade.")

Andrews urged industrial and business leaders in Kodiak to get in touch with the school district and offer suggestions and advice on what it is they will be looking for from high school graduates in the future.


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