The State of Alaska Kodiak Job Center has recently begun
better promoting its Job Shadow program and youth employability skills initiative
in collaboration with the Kodiak
Island Borough School District. The two programs are
designed to ensure that local and Alaskan youth have basic employability skills
when they enter the workforce.
Kodiak Job Center youth career guide Nicola Belisle said the
employability skills initiative, which is open to students and young adults
ages 14-24, provides basic work skills youth need to be successful by matching them
with participating employers for training and education. Although the program
isn’t new, Belisle said she is gratified to now be working with Kodiak High
School and village schools in the Kodiak
district, providing presentations and information for students.
-- (Belisle 1 35 sec “Our
job is to ... vocational education orientated.”)
Belisle identified high growth industry jobs as those
related to the gasline, a major future source employment, such as construction
and welding jobs, hospitality, teaching and day care. She also noted health
care, information technology and architecture as areas of need. She said the
first point of contact for individuals interested in the program is the Job Center.
-- (Belisle 2 17 sec “We
just find that employer ... at the Job
Belisle said she has two employers committed to the project on
a trial basis so far, Mack’s Sports Shop and Java Flats, and she hopes to see
greater participation on the part of local employers in the near future. She
also hopes to make the initiative a for-credit program through the high school.
-- (Belisle 3 33 sec “We’ll
hopefully have the students ... activity for students.”)
The Job Center
is also currently promoting its Job Shadow program, in which employers take
youth into their businesses in unpaid positions for anywhere from a day to a
month, so they can experience what it’s like to work in a given industry.
Belisle said the program benefits employers by fostering a well-trained
workforce and providing potential future employees, and benefits youth in the
program by providing experience.
-- (Belisle 4 30 sec “They
can, number one, ... entry level job.”)
Center Manager Maureen Butler said response from local employers to the Job
Shadow program has been positive thus far.
-- (Butler 23 sec “In general, employers seem ... people to hire.”)
said aside from providing the opportunity for better jobs, one of the major
aims of both programs is to keep good-paying, growth industry and skilled jobs
-- (Belisle 5 18 sec “We
need to home grow ... filled by Alaskans.”)
Potential employers or trainees who wish to participate in either
program can contact Nicola Belisle at the Kodiak Job Center at 486-3105 for more information.
I’m Erik Wander.