APICC Annual Meeting draws high energy crowd, engages industry & students

APICC Update

It was my pleasure to address APICC members, our education and training partners, students and community members at the APICC Annual Meeting on Friday. What a great opportunity for us to share our accomplishments, and say thank you to everyone that made our successes possible! (Click here if you’d like to see a full copy of the opening remarks). The day was filled with informative presentations addressing topics like cross-industry workforce development strategies, connections with economic development, health and safety training, and career opportunities for Alaskans through training.  Department of Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas talked about current workforce issues and even fielded a few questions from students in the audience.  A lot of great connections were made during the high energy day. Thank you to all our attendees, presenters, and volunteers. It was a great event!

Keynote Jeff Edmondson hits the mark

Alaska has a unique opportunity to be the first state to attempt statewide collective impact

Strive Network’s Jeff Edmondson really connected with the APICC audience during his keynote presentation. Jeff has worked with a number of collective impact efforts across the country, helping organizations within those communities organize to make a difference in the lives of children, from cradle to career. Jeff told attendees at the APICC meeting that Alaska could be the first State to attempt statewide collective impact effort.  The effort would need to look at ways to overcome Alaska’s unique physical landscape and population disbursement.  However, positive steps are already being made toward building the foundations for success. To view Jeff’s slides from the APICC Annual Meeting, please click here.

APICC Partners are Making A Difference

Denali Media Group and KTVA Channel 11

Rick Boots, Sales Director for Denali Media Group, shared his background working in industry on the North Slope. Now that he’s in media, Rick is helping to draw attention to workforce needs and opportunities for Alaskans through Workforce Wednesday.  This new segment on KTVA Channel 11’s Daybreak is a way to share information with parents and students about industry, where to get training, and scholarships available. Look for the segment every Wednesday morning on Daybreak.  Daybreak airs between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. each day.

Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education

Kristin Vandagriff gave a moving presentation on meaningful employment for Alaskans with disabilities and outlined the ways the Governor’s Council can assist businesses that would like to tap into this often overlooked labor pool.  Kristin’s passion for her work was apparent throughout the day, as she spent breaks networking and handing out materials at their exhibit booth. We appreciate Kristin’s efforts to connect industry with Alaskans with disabilities, and provide meaningful, sustaining employment. More information about the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education how to hire people with disabilities can be found on their website.


Rural Alaska Honor’s Institute (RAHI)

Denise Wartes, program manager of the Rural Alaska Honor’s Institute (RAHI), expanded on the accomplishments of this long-standing program affiliated with the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. RAHI provides an opportunity for rural and Alaska Native high school junior and senior students to immerse themselves in a college experience for six weeks.  The students earn 8-10 college credits in rigorous courses and develop skills necessary to succeed in college. For more about RAHI or to find out how to support their programs, please visit the RAHI website.


EXCEL Alaska 

Carol Wilson shared the resounding success of the first year of operation of EXCEL Alaska (Excellence Communication Employability skills, Leadership). EXCEL Alaska provides transitional skills and career exploration opportunities to high school students and young adults residing in rural Alaska.  7th – 12th graders receive vocational and life-skill training for all students, regardless of grade point average.  For more about EXCEL Alaska or to find out how to support their programs, please visit the EXCEL website.


Soldier for Life

Pat Sheppard’s passion for the official Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program was evident in her presentation. SFL-TAP at JBER provides world-class transition assistance to soldiers, family members, veterans, retirees, and DA civilians to create a plan for their career and/or educational transition from military to civilian life. For more about SFL-TAP, please visit their webpage.