Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Plan to boost maritime workforce taking shape

Collaborators in the seafood and other marine industries have completed a maritime workforce development plan to address a growing number of shortages in their industries and are now working on funding sources to activate the plan.

The announcement on June 10 came from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where the fisheries, seafood and Maritime Initiative Industry Advisory Council produced the plan. The two-year effort comes in response to growing concern over the graying of leadership in the commercial seafood industry in Alaska, plus expanding demands in seafood harvesting and processing, research, management and other aspects of marine occupations.

The plan sets forth goals and strategies to guide how industry, state agencies, education and training entities can work together to support and enhance the maritime workforce.

Goals include development of a workforce that enables the maritime sector to remain a substantial contributor to the state’s economy and increasing the number of Alaskans working in skilled maritime occupations.

Strategies include increasing awareness of opportunity in various occupations and development of career pathways, supporting recruitment and retention of people to these occupations and promoting sustained industry engagement in this effort.

Participating entities range from Kris Norosz of Icicle Seafoods, the FSMI Industry co-chair, to Stephanie Madsen of the At-Sea Processors Association, and Vince O’Shea of Pacific Seafood Processors Association to Julie Decker, representing United Fishermen of Alaska and the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation.

The plan itself is online at

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