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Seafoodscorporation invests in skilled trades

As articulated by the Vice President of Seafoodscorporation, a prominent human resources business partner, “It is time for companies to invest in training skilled personnel, particularly in Alaska.” While the fishing industry grapples with a “fleet reduction,” the processing sector faces a “workforce reduction.”

Aligned with its core values, our company has recently initiated a program aimed at bridging the skills gap and potentially guiding young individuals in understanding the career opportunities within the industry. This initiative marks a significant milestone and a sincere commitment to cultivating a qualified workforce for the future.

 “In the pursuit of innovative solutions to fill vacancies, the time is now or never,” emphasized the company’s Vice President. “Securing employees with the necessary skills and experience continues to be a persistent challenge for Seafoodscorporation and the entire industry. Hence, we have decided: ‘If we can’t find them, we will provide their training.'”

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In addressing the workforce shortage, consider the urgency conveyed in these words: by 2030, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 1.4 million new skilled labor jobs, surpassing the anticipated pool of applicants. The interest of young people in trades such as plumbing, construction, and electrical work declined by 51% in 2023 compared to 2019. “The demand for carpenters and plumbers exists in America, but the new generation seems to lack interest in these professions.”

The skilled workforce training program of the Seafoodscorporation group encompasses industry-specific structured training and mentorship to prepare qualified professionals for coastal processing facilities throughout Alaska. A partnership with the Alaska Vocational Technical Center has enabled the creation of a two-year training course for skilled workers, with an additional two-year post-employment course within the company.

During the initial year of training, interns familiarize themselves with various professions, alternating between coursework and applying knowledge at Seafoodscorporation facilities. Mentors are assigned, and the company covers education costs, books, tools, transportation, and hourly wages.

In the second year, students concentrate on their chosen profession, spending time in the field with a mentor.

Throughout the third and fourth years, interns work full-time at Seafoodscorporation facilities, continuing their on-the-job training.

These are modest investments that can yield substantial results in the future.

 “We are fully dedicated to creating the skilled workforce of the future, and this program marks the beginning of that journey,” emphasized the Vice President.

Our company welcomed the first class of interns—four individuals—into the skilled workforce training program in 2019. Given the program’s success, the company expanded the intake and admitted an additional 9 new interns this fall.

The company concentrates its recruitment efforts in Alaska, reaching various cities and collaborating with community organizations. Nevertheless, the program is open to candidates from any country with the right to work in the United States.

The 9 interns vary in experience and knowledge, but they share the aspiration to enhance their lives, progress in their careers, and contribute to the workforce. These interns come from diverse backgrounds, bringing a wealth of perspectives and skills to the team. Their unique blend of experiences, ranging from recent graduates eager to apply theoretical knowledge to seasoned professionals seeking a career shift, fosters a dynamic and collaborative environment. Despite the differences in their professional journeys, a common thread of enthusiasm and a commitment to continuous learning unites them. As they embark on this shared endeavor, the interns are not only dedicated to personal and professional growth but also strive to cultivate a supportive community within the workplace. Their collective goal is not only to excel individually but to contribute collectively to the organization’s success, creating a positive impact on the broader workforce. Together, they represent a tapestry of ambition, potential, and a shared vision for a bright and successful future.

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