Pitney highlights university’s economic impact in talk during AEDC 3-year outlook luncheon

On August 3, UA President Pat Pitney shared brief remarks about the university’s economic impact on Alaska at the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s 3-year outlook luncheon. Members of the Board of Regents and Foundation Directors, as well as leaders from the University of Alaska system and UAA were present for the event held at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage.

Her speech focused on how integral the university, and UAA in particular, is to Anchorage. She highlighted specific industries in which the university provides crucial workforce including aviation, engineering, health care and finance. In addition, she touched on how UA’s research fuels Alaska’s economy, by developing new methods of extracting critical minerals, leading the world in developing drone technology, and driving the emerging mariculture industry. Pitney said that UA is partnering with ATIA on a joint TikTok marketing campaign to promote Alaska as a place to visit and study, which supports the tourism industry. And how UAA’s Business Enterprise Institute works to create jobs, foster innovation, mentor future innovators and is a partner in developing Alaska’s economy.

The university directly impacts many Alaskans. Business leaders need the highly skilled employees that UA trains; parents want affordable education, training and research opportunities for their children; current workers want to upskill, change careers or finish what was started to increase their earning potential and grow the local economy; residents want to live in a prosperous community supported by a top-notch university; and every student, rich or struggling, Indigenous, black, white or immigrant wants a path to success.

Pitney thanked the 18,000 donors who generously have contributed to our For Alaska campaign. She reflected on how in the 1980’s, when Alaska struggled for enough workers, the state and university partnered to attract more workers using student loan forgiveness. She stressed that now is the time to restart this program to keep our best and brightest in state and to entice more great workers to Alaska. A diverse and educated workforce makes a resilient Alaska that is open for business.

During the luncheon AEDC President & CEO Bill Popp presented the 3-Year Outlook for Anchorage and shared the results of several ongoing research reports on employment, consumer confidence and more. Keynote speaker Roger Brooks shared a detailed assessment of Anchorage from a business, resident, and visitor perspective and provided actionable improvements to keep Anchorage competitive for workforce on a global scale.

Learn more at the AEDC website.