Hecla Greens Creek Pathway to Mining Careers
For high school juniors and seniors
The Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company knows that training and hiring local talent is a win, win situation for everyone. Unfortunately, many local young people don't realize the opportunities they have in their own backyard. In 2011, Hecla decided to do something to change that, in a big way, by donating $300,000 to the UAS Center for Mine Training to develop a unique approach to engage local high school students and to educate and train them for future employment in the mine industry. With this in mind, the Hecla Greens Creek Pathway to Mining Careers was created.
Outreach has expanded since then to include adults who may be new to the mining industry, however, the mission remains the same - to train local mechanics for employment in Alaska's mineral industry.
Step 1: Introduction to Mining Careers and Occupations course
Those who would like to know more about mining and mining careers can take Introduction to Mining Careers and Occupations at UAS. This class is designed to provide an introduction to Alaska's mining industry. The class teaches students that you don't have to be a miner to work at a mine and answers important questions like "what exactly is a bull gang and how do I become a member." Did you know the average industry wage for mining here in Alaska was $115,320? That was over twice the state average ($56,985) for all sectors of the economy. High school students who take this 3-credit UAS class can also receive .5 high school credits. The class will include field trips, guest speakers, movies, and hands-on activities.
Step 2: Enter a Program
Now it's decision time. Students who are sure that a mining career is for them must choose what kind of training or education is right for what they want to do. For those interested in becoming a mine mechanic, the UAS School of Career Education's Diesel Department offers a 1 year Mine Mechanic Occupational Endorsement and a 2 year Mine Mechanic AAS degree. Selected students may qualify for scholarships and internships through the Hecla Greens Creek Mine.
Step 3: Interview for Summer Internship Experience
At this point, most students should have a pretty good idea if working at a mine is in the cards for them or not. Now it's time to get an "up close and personal" look at how a mine works through a job shadow experience at the Greens Creek Mine. Students may choose to job shadow employees in a variety of fields throughout the mining operation but all scholarship recipients must apply for summer internships.
Step 4: Interview for Job Opportunity
Of course, the ultimate goal of the pathway is a career in mining. Committed students who successfully follow the pathway and complete a Mine Mechanic program will be considered for employment at the Hecla Greens Creek Mine.