Careers in construction and oil and gas have to start somewhere. The University of Alaska system has an affiliated training school for those industries in Juneau, Anchorage and Soldotna. The program is called the mining and petroleum training service, or MAPTS.
According to the program’s website, MAPTS started in 1979 to train workers in Alaska’s resource industries. The program has educated more than 100,000 workers in its nearly four decades of existence.
David Spann, a health, safety and environmental safety coordinator with MAPTS, said those workers leave the program with critical, hands-on work skills. Once trained, they can typically expect a starting wage of $15 an hour for an entry-level job.
Martha Peck, with the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC), said there are jobs available even while Alaska is in a recession. Peck said APICC is always looking to fill the gap in the aging workforce, and when the economy comes back, the workforce would need to be ready for it.