Local Workforce Council Sees Comeback

Keyboard enter button. Clare Black / Flickr
Keyboard. Clare Black / Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A group of local industry leaders which originally set out to analyze and improve Kodiak’s job market is making a comeback.

Jared Griffin, a professor at Kodiak College, says the Kodiak Workforce Regional Advisory Council was active a few years ago and put together a survey of local businesses to determine patterns, hiring and firing trends, and areas of need.

“And out of this survey in around 2010, 2011, came some training opportunities at the college, I think even KANA got involved on some professional training opportunities, like some construction academies, soft skills academies, and then the group kind of fizzled.”

Griffin says it’s been on hiatus ever since, but now it’s back with new ideas and participants. Local leaders have joined the ranks, like Borough Assemblyman Dennis Symmons, and the group has had three or four meetings during which it’s decided to conduct a new survey and put together focus groups.

Griffin says the council will hold a forum in a couple of weeks which will include focus groups on topics like training needs and retention issues and will provide an opportunity for employers to talk with local organizations.

“We really want to create a culture of openness, that industries and businesses can feel comfortable and we have an open door, they can approach the school district, the college, the department of labor, any of these other programs – they can approach KANA – let’s open up these avenues.”

Griffin says the council is also looking to fill a few positions: the agriculture and natural resources seat, the health and sports fitness seat, and the architecture, construction, and engineering seat.

You can hear the full conversation about the Kodiak Workforce Regional Advisory Council by checking out this week’s Talk of the Rock.

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