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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Fairbanks North Star Borough is a shining example of training and workforce development, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said.

The department, in the April edition of its monthly publication, Alaska Economic Trends, cited the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center as a chief example of job training programs, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported .

The center provides training in several trades in mining, military, government and oil and gas.

“It’s fascinating to witness apprentices from multiple trades working together to simulate an actual pipeline spread in the center’s vast training yard, including stringing, pipefitting, welding and insulation of pipe,” Department of Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas wrote in the publication.

Drygas noted additional area training programs such as the Fairbanks Construction Academy, a school-to-apprenticeship program; University of Alaska Fairbanks Career and Technical College; Hutchinson Career Center; Helmets to Hardhats; and Women in the Trades.

Economic Trends’ April issue also detailed the condition of Alaska’s retail industry, which is dealing with a two-year recession and the growing influence of online retailers.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough saw a 3.7 percent decline in retail jobs between 2015 and 2017.

The state lost 730 retail jobs — almost 2 percent, and double 2016’s losses — last year, according to the publication.

The closure of three Sam’s Club warehouses, three Sports Authority stores and the ongoing closure of a Sears store in Anchorage all contributed to the decline in retail jobs throughout the state.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner,