Partners for Progress in Delta, Inc., a consortium of educational partners, has been working together since 2003 to address a shortage of skilled workers in the region. The Department of Defense completed an Economic Adjustment Plan in 2002 when it identified Fort Greely as the site of the Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense System. Funds were provided to the City of Delta Junction to address concerns in the report.
The Delta Career Advancement Center was constructed with federal, state and private funds. It opened in January 2005 and became the home for the new Construction Trades program created at the high school. The first Entry Level Heavy Equipment Operator Academy was offered in June 2006 and is a popular annual intensive three-week program. The high school program and the summer academies have resulted in direct placements with apprenticeship programs; and many other participants have been hired by local and state construction-related businesses. UAF Community & Technical College, Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Works Partnership have offered a wide range of classes at the Center since January 2005. The educational consortium incorporated in 2007 and the Delta Career Advancement Center was named a Regional Training Center by the Legislature in 2008.
As a partnership, our core purpose is summarized as follows: "The combined missions of the partners reinforce a commitment to career advancement, workforce development, academic preparedness, community education and life-long learning. The Delta Career Advancement Center, a collaborative project, is a gateway for learning and training in the area."
Alaska Works Partnership provides information about construction and maintenance registered apprenticeship programs, assistance with applications for apprenticeship programs, employment and training plans, assistance for women to prepare for construction jobs and apprenticeships, and support for Veterans and those leaving military services who want to work in construction. AWP also provides custom intensive courses for people who need pre-vocational training for employment in construction. Courses concentrate on technical math, occupational safety, weatherization, health and residential carpentry. Working with AWP the past six years, Alaska's four "pipeline" unions-the Operating Engineers Local 302, Laborers Local 942, Plumbers, Pipefitters Local 375 and Teamsters Local 959-have offered annual pipeline-training programs. The training provides individual training combined with joint multi-craft exercises. An emphasis is placed on safety and the environment. For more information about AWP see www.alaskaworks.org.
The Cooperative Extension Service strengthens the University of Alaska Fairbanks' educational capacity in the area and increases collaborative efforts for program delivery. Extension serves some 60,000 Alaskans annually, interpreting and extending relevant research-based university knowledge in a usable form to Alaska's diverse people and communities. CES has educators, faculty, and staff located throughout the state and in affiliate offices with the Tanana Chiefs Conference, Eielson Air Force Base, Thorne Bay and the Delta Mine Training Center. Major program areas include energy, gardening and horticulture, food processing and preservation, preparation for state pesticide certification, Department of Transportation trucking regulations, small business financing and economic development, agriculture and natural resources, community resource and economic development, and 4-H and youth development. Delta is the site of an active CES pest management program and high interest and participation in the Cold Climate construction classes. Check out CES at www.ces.uaf.edu.
A National Center for Construction, Education and Research (NCCER) certified instructor teaches a sequence of six specific topics that are part of the Construction Trades (CT) core curriculum covering everything from basic math to use of tools, safety and essential residential construction skills. The Delta/Greely High School's Construction Trades program has established a successful mock interview program for high school seniors selected for interviews with industry and/or the Trades. The Construction Trades classes go well beyond a typical "shop" class that might construct sawhorses. Students at the Delta High School Program create real-world projects that serve the community. For example, students helped construct the existing facility, some have built the vendor booths used by the Farmers' Market, others helped construct concession and announcer stands for the football team, picnic benches for the local community park and metals classes produce and sell to the public State of Alaska Forestry approved burn barrels. The DGSD is introducing middle school students to the Construction Trades program through visits to the DCAC facility and the high school CT program was expanded in the fall of 2008 to include 10th grade in addition to 11th and 12th grades. Other vocational/technical programs launched at the high school include a metals class and aerospace program introduced in fall 2013. DGSD can be found at www.dgsd.k12.ak.us.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College (UAF CTC) UAF CTC provides a broad range of career advancement courses and programs leading to certificate and associate degrees. For this partnership, it offers academic credit and custom non-credit classes at the DCAC. Serving the Delta educational consortium since 2003, the college offers classes ranging from computer applications, applied business, and communication, to AutoCAD, Certified Nurse Aide, English, Anthropology, American Sign Language and welding. UAF CTC is prepared to extend academic credit and continuing education credits for career and technical courses, including Applied Mining Technology, Process Technology, Drafting Technology, and Materials Technology as well as Trades and Technology. UAF CTC continues to work with the DGSD to articulate new Tech Prep Agreements and dual credit classes that will offer UAF credits to secondary students. More information about UAF CTC can be found at www.ctc.uaf.edu.
Delta Career Advancement Center