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Mining and Petroleum Training Service staff Recognized with President's UA Spotlight Award

Mike Azzara, René Azzara, Daren Case, Elizabeth Hardie and Jim Smith of the Mining and Petroleum Training Service, or MAPTS, were recognized with the President’s Spotlight Award during the Statewide Town Hall meeting on Feb. 23. The team was recognized for its work in developing a state-of-the-art mining training program in partnership with industry and the Yukon College.

The nominating entry read: “Under Bill’s leadership, the MAPTS unit has developed a business model and curriculum that is meeting the workforce demands for Alaska underground mine training.”

The employer-influenced curriculum teaches critical technical skills for entry-level mine positions, instills safe work habits and teaches job readiness and life skills to prepare graduates for a successful career in mining. Students arrive with no experience in underground mining and after a month of focused training are ready to go directly to work. Starting annual salaries, not including benefits, can range from $70K-$75K with opportunities for advancement in an international industry.

The self-supporting program uses a business model that creates partnerships with companies, First Nations, and Alaska Native Corporations to fund training opportunities for new hires and works to develop skills for indigenous populations in Canada and Alaska.

A unique partnership with Alaska’s major underground mine companies—Hecla Greens Creek in Juneau and Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC in Delta—allows pre-screened and interviewed job applicants access to the training program. Within days of completing the training, program graduates go directly to work.

The MAPTS program increases the state’s capacity to support the growing need for highly skilled resource development workforce without burdening the state with an expensive investment.

Congratulations to the team at MAPTS and thank you for your service and dedication to this highly successful workforce training program and to the university.

The UA Spotlight Award recognizes UA System employees and teams who perform a singular accomplishment above and beyond the norm. The Award is a way to timely demonstrate appreciation for one-time exceptional employee accomplishments.

Congratulations Niki Countryman

The Statewide Office of Audit and Consulting Services is pleased to congratulate Senior Internal Auditor, Niki Countryman, on the achievement of her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Danielle Nelson promoted to claims adjuster in Statewide Risk Services

Statewide Risk Services is pleased to announce that Danielle Nelson has assumed the position of adjuster in the Anchorage claims unit.

Danielle brought her prior insurance experience to the University in 2013 in the role of claim technician. In November 2015 she passed the Alaska state insurance examination to become a licensed adjuster. She is now handling auto, workers’ compensation, liability, property claims for UAA, UAS and their associated campuses. She also works with the University’s electronic claim and incident reporting systems.

Danielle is pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at UAA. She is also active in governance as one of the Anchorage representatives to the Statewide Administration Assembly (SAA).

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