Celebrating CTE Advocacy and Opportunities

By: Teri Cothren, President

Over the past quarter, your association has been actively carrying out the mission to align education and industry to build a strong Alaska workforce and there have been several great opportunities to celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE)!

On April 7, 2021, the Alaska House Education Committee hosted a meeting on “reports from the field” regarding CTE around the state. Alaska ACTE was one of several presenters and had the opportunity to share about the association and how it supports CTE. Several of our partners and training and education providers also presented on the opportunities and challenges of providing CTE during the pandemic and looking ahead. Information on the hearing can be found on our advocacy page.

This legislative session has highlighted the value of and support for CTE through the sponsorship of the following bills:

  • The reauthorization of the Technical Vocational Education Program (TVEP) was again sponsored by Representative Wool and is on track to be reauthorized for three years through HB 100. The program supports the delivery of CTE across the state and is especially important in helping with Alaska’s economic recovery by reskilling and upskilling Alaskans for employment.
  • Representatives Story and Fields continued to advocate, through HB 48, to expand the eligibility requirements of the Alaska Performance Scholarship to include CTE.
  • Senator Begich introduced SB 10 to establish a grant program to provide tuition and fees to essential workers. This bill recognizes the need to provide training to Alaskans who have served the state through the pandemic or who have been displaced by the pandemic.
  • Representative Fields sponsored HB 132 to support access to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.

AK ACTE Clearing House Update

We continue to implement the development of the Alaska ACTE Clearinghouse to increase access to CTE instructional, general safety, and leadership resources. In February AK ACTE partnered with DEED to provide an overview during their Spring CTE Workshop. On March 24th, we partnered with Project ECHO to provide a webinar to promote how the clearinghouse can increase access to teaching resources for CTE instructors and administrators and discussed with attendees how it can strengthen CTE instruction across the state. The video recording and slide deck can be accessed here.

Do you have resources to share with your fellow CTE colleagues across Alaska? It’s an easy submission process! Just follow the instructions here.

We are also actively looking and applying for funding to support the development of the clearinghouse.


We are excited to be planning our annual Professional Development Conference to be in person this fall! Please save the date to join us at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage on October 4-5 and stay tuned for more details in the future. We look forward to seeing you all again and reconnecting to grow and strengthen CTE in Alaska!

If you’re planning to complete some professional development over the summer, utilize your membership benefits to access the Alaska CTE Learn portal. You’ll find free resources as well as a variety of CTE continuing education credit courses that are engaging and self-paced.


By: Brett Piatela, Northwest Region Rep

Northwest Arctic Borough School District

Greetings from the Northwest Arctic! This past year has been a challenge for CTE Instructors around the state and it has been no different in our region. Educators have been forced to adjust to new technology and offer instruction remotely. As we shift back to instruction with students in the classroom, educators will be able to incorporate lessons learned during remote instruction to create robust lessons in the future.

Middle school students from the NWABSD participated in Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) remotely. Students worked with a staff member onsite and were guided by ANSEP staff remotely to build projects such as marble roller coasters, a trebuchet, and each participant was also able to build their own computer!

Kotzebue High offers a design and fabrication class that utilizes a computer-aided drafting program RHINO 5 to create 3-d computer models and renders. The class also uses many different mediums for computer aided manufacturing. Students who have attended 2 years in this class are earning an industry recognized RHINO 5 level 1 user certification. They also offer the opportunity to train with state of the art drones learning valuable flying skills and content knowledge. The goal is for students to be prepared to earn their Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems certificate and become remote pilots in command.

Napaatugmiut School students went on a winter culture trip. Eight high school students, two staff members, and one community volunteer camped for two and half days off the Kivalina Trail. Students learned things from making coffee to winter survival. Along the way they learned place names in Inupiaq. They also climbed a mountain and saw a herd of caribou!

Alaska Technical Center has Post-Secondary opportunities in the northwest region. The current training programs for enrollment are: Construction Trades Technology, Process Technology, Health Care Occupations- Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Terminology, Introduction to Health Care Professions, Professional Skills in the Workplace, and Culinary Arts.

Red Dog and Teck continue to offer their apprenticeship program for NANA shareholders. Currently Red Dog offers seven registered apprenticeships. There are six apprenticeships available with the maintenance department: industrial millwright maintenance, heavy equipment mechanic, electrical and instrumentation technician, powerhouse operator/mechanic, light vehicle mechanic, and weld combination. The mill operations offer one apprenticeship: Mill Operator.


By: Colin Stewart, Southwest Region Rep

The South West Region of Alaska is starting to see improvements with the ability to return to In-Person Learning and Covid winding down. To keep students involved in CTE many different things have been done to facilitate distance learning opportunities.

In LKSD the CTE program has sponsored home internet packages through GCI. This at home internet access has allowed students from around LKSD to take advantage of online CTE courses they would not otherwise have access to during at home learning. These are all foundational courses that lead into full career pathways that will be offered at LKSD next school year.

Bristol Bay Region CTE:

Bristol Bay Region CTE developed a complete catalog of CTE courses for distance delivery to the pandemic. These courses were all foundational courses to lead into full career pathways. Courses included: Drone Essentials, Professional Skills for the Job Hunt, Medical Terminology, Introduction to Nautical Skills, Drivers License Prep, Alaska Business Week, Energy Literacy, and Preparing for College Success. These courses were even offered to out of region students in other rural parts of Alaska. This was a great opportunity for rural students to stay engaged in relevant CTE courses and will continue to be offered next year as additional opportunities for students.

Yuut Elitnarviat:

LKSD and Yuut Elitnarviat continue to partner in Teacher House building projects.

Annually Yuut Elitnarviat runs a comprehensive construction training program that builds a house from the ground up. Students will learn from multiple instructors in Framing, Electrical, HVAC, Plumping, Roofing / Siding, and Finish Carpentry. LKSD purchases all materials for the project then owns the house when finished. They are currently working on the third house in the series. After the houses are completed they are moved via barge or ice road into nearby villages that are in need of teacher housing. This partnership has been greatly beneficial to both entities and will continue in the future.


2021 Board Elections will be happening in October, during the Professional Development Conference. The following positions are up for election. If you are interested in running for a board seat, please submit your application here.

President Elect – 3 year term

The President-elect shall perform the duties of President in the absence of the President; succeed to the office of President for any unexpired term in the event of a presidential vacancy; assume other duties assigned to the office by these bylaws and the operational procedures as adopted by the Board of Directors. The President-Elect will transition to the President role for 1 year and then to Past-President for 1 year, totaling a 3 year term.

Secretary – 2 year term

The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining and keeping records of all Alaska ACTE Board of Directors and membership meetings and proceedings, assist the President in the timely notification of regular Board of Directors and annual membership meetings, maintain accurate records of elections and results, ensure that the corporate records and reporting are complete and maintain historical association records.

Treasurer – 2 year term

The Treasurer shall chair the finance committee; ensure revenue and expenses are accounted for monthly and make financial reports to the Board each month; provide for an annual external review of the financial records of the association and an the report of finances be presented at the annual membership meeting;

Southwest Region Representative – 2 year term

The regional representatives of the Alaska ACTE shall recruit and communicate with regional members, serve as liaison between regional members and the Board of Directors, assist the association with building local and regional partnerships, and serve on Alaska ACTE committees.