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Workforce Development a Priority at UAS Ketchikan

Ketchikan was awarded $275,000 over three years from the University of Alaska Supplemental Workforce Development Funding

UAS Ketchikan was awarded $275,000 over three years from the University of Alaska Supplemental Workforce Development Funding. The grant will fund an Assistant Director for Workforce Development as well as enhance workforce development training efforts. This award is acknowledgement of UAS Ketchikan’s dedicated and leadership in workforce development.  The additional resources will advance the goal of delivering vocational and technical training in high demand jobs and our resource based regional industries.

Wendy Gierard was hired as the Assistant Director and will be responsible for planning, design, management and evaluation of workforce development programs for high-demand jobs, the state-wide tech-prep initiative at the local university level, and will serve as administrator of grants and contracts for workforce development projects related to marine transportation and manufacturing, welding and fisheries and shellfish industry technologies.

Gierard comes from Ketchikan General Hospital where she served as Foundation Development Manager. She previously worked at UAS Ketchikan in the capacity of Public Information Specialist. Gierard will take the lead in the on-going effort at UAS Ketchikan to improve and expand the programs that are training workers for jobs in Alaska. She began the new position on April 2.

A second grant of $60,000 from the same Supplemental Workforce Development Funding was awarded to the UAS Ketchikan Welding Department. It will purchase air cleaners and electrical modifications to expand the capacity of the welding shop, located in the Hamilton Building on Stedman Street. The expanded welding shop will increase student capacity and enable more students taking courses simultaneously as well as providing space for the shipyard welding training program partnership.

UAS Ketchikan was also selected to receive an award of $20,000 to develop and deliver the existing advanced networking curriculum by converting the Certified Cisco Networking Professional course content for a blended distance learning model. The funding also allows for an upgrade to the networking lab.

In April of 2004 the UAS Ketchikan campus partnered with the Cisco Network Academy program and joined a North American Blended Distance Learning pilot research project led by Indiana University to develop and deliver the Certified Cisco Networking Associate course content in a blended distance learning model. Upon completion of the pilot project UAS Ketchikan was granted the authority to continue teaching the academy curriculum. Enrollments in these courses have increased by 300% since 2004. UAS Ketchikan faculty member Rick McDonald will develop and deliver the four courses that lead to CCNA certification via the Blended Distance Learning model statewide. Rick has been pivotal in implementing the Cisco program from the start and is excited to continue and expand the services available through this model.


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