Currently UAA offers only a two-year associate degree program in construction management. The university is planning to start a four-year program at the end of the year.
Funds will be used for curriculum development and start-up costs for the degree program. First National's contribution to UAA is part of this fund-raising effort.
"There's a growing shortage of qualified construction management personnel in the state; construction students leave Alaska to complete their bachelor's degree, and are often heavily recruited by outside firms," said Elizabeth Setzer, First National vice president and associate member of Associated General Contractors. "And Alaska firms now must look outside the state to hire qualified people."
The bank will give $5,000 a year over a five-year period to fund the new degree program.