The Alaska Laborers negotiated one of the first training programs in the Laborers International when they developed their training program with the Associated General Contractors, Alaska Chapter in the early 1970s.
The Alaska Laborers Training Fund began construction on the Fairbanks Training Center in 1997. Construction of this original building was done with all volunteers; construction parties were organized much like an old fashioned “barn raising.” This building included a small space for office needs, one classroom and equipment storage until 2007 when a second building was added.
Alaska Laborers/Alaska General Contractors Apprenticeship School Facts
The Alaska Laborers/AGC training facilities are located in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
The new Anchorage Apprenticeship Training Facility is located at 17805 Old Glenn Highway in Chugiak, Alaska. The school continues to serve the training needs for Construction Craft Laborers statewide and supports a dynamic, federally-registered apprenticeship program. The location in Chugiak will provide convenient access for students from Anchorage, as well as those residing in the Matanuska–Susitna Valley. The ten-acre site will allow for expanded training opportunities that can closely simulate actual job sites, allowing more hands-on training that develops the required skills.
The three state-of-the-art classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards and Winked walls that turn entire walls into erasable whiteboards, allowing students access to a variety of diverse learning opportunities. In addition to the traditional classrooms, computerized training is available in the technology center with offerings that include: software for temporary traffic design used in highway and road construction, site-plan modelling, GPS, AutoCAD and other software used in grade control and elevation used in all types of construction projects. The prospect of expanding training opportunities by using computer technology is vast.
There are two large shops and a mezzanine that will allow students to gain a diverse foundation of skillsets. One of the shops has a dirt floor, allowing digging, trenching and other types of training during the winter months while the outside ground is frozen.
Accommodations and travel support is available for students who travel from outlying areas across Alaska, and who might otherwise not have access to training. The Chugiak School can sleep up to 26 students, nearly doubling the space available in the previous facility. The on-site kitchen can provide meals and seat up to 48 students at a time in a beautifully designed dining area.
The ten-acre property expands the number of hands-on training possibilities, allowing true job site simulation. This type of training experience allows for highly developed skills, and workers are “shovel ready” for the demanding construction workforce. It prepares apprentices to work safely and to gain an understanding of the importance of a safe work environment which is essential for all jobs.
The new site gives the Alaska Laborers Training School the ability to offer several skills-based training simultaneously and to set up scenarios simulating a real-world construction project. For example, grade-checking students can be setting critical horizontal and vertical elevations, while a different class is learning pipe-laying with actual trenching and pipe handling. All the while, construction equipment and vehicles are being redirected through the construction site, which will be done by a class teaching traffic control and flagging. This type of integrated training allows students to gain a practical sense of actual construction sites and leads to a safer and better-trained workforce.
The Chugiak site has been an important training ground for apprentices during the past three. Much of the site development was done by apprentices during training classes. Examples are: drilling & blasting bedrock for site preparation, pouring concrete for specific projects, and landscaping the entire site. Apprentices are Alaska’s construction workforce in the making. Hands-on training such as this develops skills in a solid and lasting way. Our Fairbanks facility sits on 3 acres, has 2 shops and 3 classrooms and is over 15,000 square feet.