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BBEDC Gives Over $194,000 Dollars to SAVEC

A new initiative to help train local Bristol Bay residents for jobs in the fisheries industry recently received a big financial boost from the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation. Last year the Bristol Bay Native Association received a grant of over $405-thousand dollars from the Federal Government to fund the “Bristol Bay Jobs Accelerator Project”. As part of the project BBNA is working with the Southwest Alaska Vocational and Education Center in King Salmon to build the capacity to train local residents for jobs in the seafood harvesting and processing sector. The $405-thousand dollars is apparently not enough to cover all the costs associated with the project because last month staff members with SAVEC made a presentation to the Board of Directors for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, which is the local CDQ entity for the Bristol Bay region. They were asking for additional funds to be used for training. Shortly after the presentation the BBEDC Board approved funding the project to the tune of over $194-thousand dollars. In a written statement SAVEC claims the BBEDC funding will be used to fund 6-classes including crane operator training, CDL testing, CPR and First Aid Certification, Small Boat Operation and Marine safety Instructor Training. SAVEC notes that an aggressive program will soon begin for the fisheries related training. The original federal grant of over $405-thousand dollars was a combined USDA Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration grant that was intended to strengthen the local fishing and seafood processing industry, which the federal agencies call an industry cluster. BBNA was the first Alaska Native entity to receive the new type of grant funding. The Southwest Alaska Vocational Education Center was created in 2002 to provide career and workforce development training for Bristol Bay residents and rural residents from around Alaska.