Gov. Parnell Introduces Alaska's Career Ready Education Initiative

Oct 7, 2014

Governor Sean Parnell is trying to get more Alaska students ready for the workforce with specialized skills or crafts in Alaska’s economy.

Credit Department of Education and Early Development

The Alaska’s Career-Ready Education Initiative is intended to prepare students for Alaska’s growing economy and the types of jobs being created.  Governor Parnell introduced his initiative in Fairbanks at the Alaska Superintendents Association.

He says Alaska is on the cusp of an economic boom. 

“We don’t want to start off with a bunch of new people from the outside to take these good jobs.  We want to train our young people to take them as well.  Within eight years, Alaska is projected to gain more than 36,000 jobs, and these estimates were before the new boom, and we also need an additional 95,000 people to replace the workers who are going to be retiring in these industries.”

Earlier this year, Parnell signed the Alaska’s Educational opportunity Act into law which is intended to provide opportunities in career and technical training, charter schools, residential schools and correspondence schools. 

Parnell also create the Alaska Performance Scholarship to encourage high school students to take harder classes and Digital Teaching Initiative which makes real-time video conference learning available to students. 

All of this is part of Parnell’s attempt to bring more vocational training opportunities to Alaska’s students. 

“Four out of five of the new jobs in Alaska are going to require that kind of certification, and anybody from any place in the state can take advantage of these labor jobs that are coming.”

He says that dual education is the future of Alaska’s economy.

“What if we, together, established a path where a young person in a much bigger way than we’ve ever done before.  It’s that dual again, dual thinking. Dual high school diploma and steal certification so they can leave high school and go right into the work place.  What if they graduate high school and have their associate’s degree when they come out of high school?”

The Alaska’s Career-Ready Education Initiative is a statewide program with help from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.