A Foundation for the Future

In a rural Southeast community in Alaska, where most households are low-income and unemployment is more than 13%, skilled job training can be the difference between feeding your family – or struggling to survive.
Credit: Mike Cleary

Credit: Mike Cleary

Like so many in rural Alaska, the people of Prince of Wales Island are accustomed to the intensity of work that arrives seasonally or as short-term projects. If locals don’t have the skills for these jobs, they are bypassed for outside hires – who arrive for the work and leave with their earnings.

Credit: Mike Cleary

Credit: Mike Cleary

The Prince of Wales (POW) Construction Academy is working to achieve local stability through vocational training. A partnership that includes representatives from nine communities, POW Construction Academy helps ensure that when the jobs arrive, locals are trained for them.

There is a need for skilled workers on our Island, and we want our local people to get and keep these jobs. – Karen Cleary, POW Construction Academy

Credit: Mike Cleary

Credit: Mike Cleary

ACF’s Vocational Fund for Alaska’s Future provides funding for a diverse cohort of students to attend the construction academy, including non-traditional construction workers such as women, Alaska Natives, teens and adults in their 50s