The classroom portions of the classes will be taught at the UAS-Ketchikan Campus and those requiring hands-on practice will take place at the Ketchikan Shipyard.
In late 2013, Vigor Alaska teamed up the Alaska Workforce Investment Board (AWIB) and the UAS Ketchikan campus to create an industry-led training program. Vigor Industrial is a privately-held shipbuilding and repair company based in Portland, Oregon and investing in training workers for the American shipbuilding industry. Vigor worked with UAS to modify the existing math curriculum to meet the most pressing skills needs at the shipyard, to provide the flexibility to adapt to changing workforce needs, and to allow workers to advance in specific vocational skills. The first class, which commenced January 28 and runs through February 19, focuses on basic shop math skills. The next level of classes begins February 25 and will build on the basic math foundation to teach skills including welding, blueprint reading, basic refrigeration (a key component of systems on vessels, including catcher-processor fishing boats), and introduction to marine electrical systems. UAS faculty will teach blueprint reading and refrigeration, while Vigor workers will teach welding and introduction to marine electrical systems. The classroom portions of the classes will be taught at the UAS-Ketchikan Campus and those requiring hands-on practice will take place at the Ketchikan Shipyard. The program was launched with the help of a $54,000 grant from the AWIB designed to support efforts and upgrade knowledge and skills of industrial workers supporting the oil and gas sector in Ketchikan and Southeast Alaska.