State Briefs

Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2002

Apprentice program teaches new skills

BETHEL - A construction apprenticeship program offered in Bethel aims to provide jobs and spread skills to Western Alaska villagers.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus offers the Building, Maintenance and Repair Apprenticeship Program.

The men in the class, including Sam Paul of Kipnuk, temporarily left construction projects building housing in their home villages to attend three weeks of training. After the training is complete, the men will spend more hands-on hours working toward obtaining the Building, Maintenance, and Repair Certificate.

"It's my first time doing all of this and it's lots of fun," said Alex Evan, one of the students. "I'm learning all these different trades that I never knew before. When I was young I wondered how all this stuff works and now I know."

Certification qualifies the 28 apprentices in the program as journeymen and gives them the ability to work as entry level construction workers. The trainees spent three weeks in July learning carpentry skills, which allowed them to apprentice under experienced carpenters on building sites.

Construction skills are needed in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, said Craig Hatley, training coordinator at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union in Anchorage and instructor for the workshop.

Ice skating offered at Melvin Park

JUNEAU - City Parks and Recreation Department staff have set up a skating area in the Mendenhall Valley by flooding part of Melvin Park.

The area near Riverside Drive have been plowed and is skatable, although some areas are slushy, Parks and Rec staff said.

The area will be open when weather permits and lights will be on from 4 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 586-5226.

Homecoming 2002 set to begin at JDHS

JUNEAU - Homecoming 2002 kicks off at Juneau-Douglas High School on Friday morning with a full-school assembly to hear motivational speaker Ed Gerety.

"He's a really dynamic motivational and inspirational speaker," said Weston Eiler of JDHS Student Government. "We're trying to get him to deliver a message of inclusion ... and pride in your school."

Gerety, who is based in New Hampshire, spoke to a statewide conference of students last October. Several Juneau students were in attendance and worked to bring him to Juneau for this event, Eiler said.

Following the morning assembly, Gerety will conduct a workshop with student leaders, including representatives from student government, National Honor Society, sports teams and other student organizations.

Homecoming activities continue Sunday with a full day of wall decorating.

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