Blumer named new Labor commissioner

Gov. Sean Parnell has named one of his aides to be the new commissioner of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Parnell announced Thursday that Dianne Blumer would be the new commissioner, replacing Click Bishop, who retired two months ago.

Blumer currently works out of Parnell’s Anchorage office, were she is a special assistant responsible for policy and regulation for the departments of Administration, Revenue and Commerce, Community & Economic Development.

A press release announcing Blumer’s new job from press secretary Sharon Leighow did not say whether Blumer would be based in Anchorage or Juneau, and neither Blumer nor Leighow returned phone messages Thursday.

Since Bishop’s retirement, Deputy Commissioner David Stone has served as the department’s acting commissioner.

In Parnell’s press release, he thanked Stone for the leadership he provided the department as acting commissioner.

While Stone, a City and Borough of Juneau Assembly member, has long Juneau ties, Leighow wrote Blumer also has Juneau ties, including owning two successful small businesses in the city. Leighow did not identify the businesses.

She was born in Ketchikan, Leighow wrote, where her father was a commercial fisherman. She grew up on Prince of Wales Island, and was a lifelong resident of Southeast until moving to Anchorage in 2007, Leighow wrote.

In Juneau, Blumer served on the boards of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and Wildflower Court, an assisted living center. She also serves on the Public Transportation Advisory Board for the Municipality of Anchorage and the Alaska prisoner re-entry task force.

No information about Blumer’s educational background was provided.

Parnell expressed confidence in Blumer’s “impeccable work ethic, integrity in the workplace and high level of commitment to the people of Alaska,” according to Leighow.

“I am committed to ensuring that we have a ready workforce to meet the business demands of the state, and an environment of opportunity that provides good jobs for Alaskans,” Blumer stated in the press release.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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