PUBLISHED: 3:04 PM on Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Industrial training class prepares students

Courtesy photo
  Charlie Snyder, left, poses for a photo with student Blake Snyder at the graduation of Ross's industrial training course.
The Alaska Department of Labor, Coeur Alaska, YaaKoosge' Daakahidi Alternative High School, Tlingit and Haida and the University of Alaska Southeast held a graduation ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the UAS Technical Education Center. The event was to celebrate the first 11 graduates of a six-week introduction to industrial training course.

Eleven students and their families were present as representatives from the course sponsors commended their efforts.

Greg O'Claray of the Department of Labor said the program was important to the community because it provided reliable employees.

"Congratulations young people. You're the future," O'Claray said.

Instructor Charlie Ross said the program was 240 hours including a day CPR and first aid class. He said the emphasis of the class was to train students to be dependable workers, who will have good attitudes and be to work on time.

"I emphasize that from the very beginning," Ross said. "What we're hearing from the industry is to give us people who are going to be there. The initial thrust of this program is to get the guys aware of what companies want and how to get there."

Students worked in groups and individually on projects that taught safety, as well as each constructing a small building.

Blake Snyder, a Juneau Douglas High School senior, completed the program and said he joined to do hands-on work.

"I wanted a break from school and do something I could work on," Snyder said. "It was pretty fun. I could go out and get a job if I wanted to, but I'm going to finish school first."

Caleb Hiolyer said he learned much from the program.

"I learned more about the construction industry and safety. I learned about job readiness and to have a good attitude," Hiolyer said. "I'm happy I'm done because 240 hours is a long time."

UAS Chancellor John Pugh attended the graduation and said the partnership with the entities that sponsored the class was important.

"These are 11 people whose lives will be changed for the better," Pugh said. "These are al local people who are learning the skills to succeed in the workforce and will make great employees for local industry."

Ross said the students, five of which are YaaKoosge' Daakahidi students, responded well to the program, which was a joint effort to improve opportunities in the construction industry.

"I think it was wonderful. It was the result of a unique coming together of different groups. All of these people were interested in a common goal and came together to get great results," Ross said. "The bottom line is that the students come first. They worked very hard and it was a tremendous opportunity for them leading to better jobs and a better life."