4th annual FSMI meeting highlights advancements in maritime training and workforce development programs

The University of Alaska, industry and agency partners continue to collaborate to address maritime workforce training needs through UA’s Fisheries Seafood Maritime Initiative. The need for skilled employees is ongoing, with one in seven jobs in Alaska being maritime related. During the fourth annual FSMI meeting in Anchorage Oct. 21, state, university and industry leaders met to share program successes, discuss the FY15 UA Maritime Education and Training Inventory and consider challenges and opportunities before them as they continue to address Alaska’s maritime workforce needs.

The University of Alaska is unique in its offerings of education and training programs for the maritime industry, with core programs ranging from vocational and technical training directly related to the maritime industry as well as bachelors and advanced education programs directly related to biology, logistics and oceanography. Almost 1,200 degrees were awarded to graduates in core maritime programs between 2010 and 2014. 

During FY15, which includes summer 2014, fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters, eight campuses offered 115 maritime classes across 23 communities to 1,121 students who between them earned 1,183 credits and 195 continuing education units during 4,087 hours of instruction.

The following highlight further maritime workforce development successes:

  • UAA Kodiak College launched a series of vessel maintenance and repair classes with input from local boaters.
  • UAA Kachemak Bay Campus is working closely with their local marine trades association and has launched a series of local classes, as has the UAS Ketchikan Campus.
  • UAF Alaska Sea Grant (ASG) Marine Advisory Program, with a donation from Icicle Seafoods, established a new 40-hour Seafood Processing Quality Control Training Program, as well as continuing the Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute, both at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center  and the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit .
  • UAF Bristol Bay Campus and the ASG Marine Advisory Program offered fishermen training programs including net hanging, fishing business skills and outboard maintenance and repair. This is the beginning of their development of an occupational endorsement in commercial fishing.
  • UAS Ketchikan began offering a Maritime and Multi-Skilled Worker course.
  • Ammonia Refrigeration training, coordinated by the ASG Marine Advisory Program and taught by UAA Mat-Su Professor Dan Mielke, was offered both at Mat-Su College and at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center.
  • UAS and ASG Marine Advisory Program developed a new Boat Electrical asynchronous course online to target commercial fishermen and all boaters.
  • UAF Fisheries Division has enhanced their BA in Fisheries in partnership with the Rural Development Program.

Further information on additional campus, industry and community advancements; marine research milestones; long-term prospects; funding opportunities; and further needs to be addressed by partners in the initiative can be reviewed in the following FSMI Meeting Summary. [DOWNLOAD 10-21-15 minutes]

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