Southeast Conference May News

In This Issue
Our Legacy Sponsors
Alaska Lemonade Day
Icy Strait Point
Workforce Development
Vigor Alaska
Alaska Marine Highway
Upcoming Events and Notices
Legacy Sponsors



IBEW Local 1547

Board of Directors
Annual Meeting Coming to Petersburg
September 20-22 

From the Executive Director
The 2020 Southeast Region 5-year Economic Plan is out for the 30 day review.  This has been a wonderful process that has included many of our members. 
Or if you are limited on time - read our one-page summary.

Alaska Regional Development Organizations (ARDORs) succeeded in having a bill sponsored by Representative Shelley Hughes and passed through the legislature to renew the ARDOR program, allowing Southeast Conference and other ARDORs to continue working on  regional development projects.  This means that Southeast Conference is still eligible to assist Southeast Alaska communities with their regional energy plans and other energy efficiency projects. As an ARDOR, still have access to new funding opportunities available to the southeast region. 
We are able to function as a regional organization which allows us some privileges, however no funds to operate the program were authorized.  This is a 35% budget cut to our operating budget. We are grateful to have members and supporters that continue to sponsor our organization and our work.  If you are interested in being a sponsor please let us know. 
Once again, thank you to all our communities that provided support and underlined the importance of Alaska's ARDOR program.

Shelly Wright, Executive Director
Southeast Conference

SEC is the State-designated Alaska Regional Development Organization (ARDOR), the federally-designated Economic Development District (EDD) for Southeast Alaska. Each of these things requires Southeast Conference take an active role in regional resource management and economic development planning. 
Alaska Lemonade Day is June 11, 2016
Lemonade Day is a nation-wide endeavor that teaches kids the skills they need to be successful in the future. Youth learn to set goals, develop a business plan, establish a budget, seek investors, provide customer service, and give back to the community.  Lemonade Day is the perfect opportunity for a community to show kids they care and train the next generation of entrepreneurs through a FREE, fun, engaging, and experiential activity.  
New Cruise Ship Dock at Icy Strait Point & The City of Hoonah
will receive its inaugural call on  May 11th . In addition to the cruise ship dock, Icy Strait Point has built a new 7,000 square foot welcome center and renovated/expanded its signature restaurant, the Duck Point Smokehouse. For 2016, approximately 160,000 cruise visitors are anticipated to call on Icy Strait Point. 
Energy Efficiency and business profitability
Southeast Conference is excited to announce the award of funding for promoting and conducting commercial building audits through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program. Many businesses struggle with high energy costs and we hope to bring resources and technical assistance that can help reduce costs - and increase profitability!

We will once again partner with the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) and build on the success of last year's initiative. The focus of this project is on commercial building owners, managers or tenants in Southeast Alaska. Thanks to the U.S.D.A., 75% of the cost of the audit will be paid for by the grant!   

Last year, 29 businesses and public facilities in Hoonah, Haines and Prince of Wales Island participated and received  Level I energy audits and 5 buildings received Level II audits. The 34 audited buildings totaled over 230,000 square feet. In all, the recommended energy efficiency measures would cost a total of $382,701. These lighting, HVAC and other recommendations will yield an estimated annual savings of $173,782, and a 2.2-year payback if implemented. That's more than a million dollars saved over 10-years!

If you are interested in more information for your business contact Robert Venables at

Workforce Development on Prince of Wales Island
Pick up a copy of the Capital City Weekly this week for a great story on Local Workforce Development on Prince of Wales Island! Such a great opportunity for local residents to truly be a part of land and resource management!
Read the Article
Doug Ward was on a panel to discuss advanced manufacturing, along with a Boeing executive and the president of the Council on Competitiveness.  They clearly won over Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn."This is unbelievable what you guys are doing," said Franken. "And this ... makes me an optimist."
Disbelief certainly plagued the Ketchikan shipyard for years. But now the yard is building two big state ferries, thanks to a $100-million non-competitive award. They will be the largest ships ever built in Alaska. Sen. Lisa Murkowski acknowledged her pride for Ketchikan.
"If you were to have told people in the Ketchikan area that in our little shipyard that we would be taking on building the Alaska-class ferry project, if you had made this statement some 20 years ago, they would have said, 'that's pie-in-the sky. We can't build ships like that. That all happens down south,'" she said. "And we've changed that dynamic."

Southeast Conference formed in 1958 with the goal of establishing the Alaska Marine Highway System. This transportation system has become the backbone for commerce and economic vitality throughout the state - and is critical for the coastal communities served by AMHS.
Today, the marine highway system extends across 3,500 miles of scenic coastline and provides service to over 30 communities. But due to many factors, and exacerbated by the state's fiscal crisis, the Alaska Marine Highway System is at a critical juncture and at risk of failure. Once again, Southeast Conference is leading the effort to "re-create" the ferry system into an organization that can continue to provide vital transportation services to the many user groups and industry that rely on it daily.
Phase one of this project is to identify alternative governance structures for the Alaska Marine Highway. Through expert analysis and a thorough public process, SE Conference will develop a formal recommendation for an effective and responsive management model.
This project, which will be managed by Southeast Conference, will be overseen by a steering committee of marine transportation professionals, public officials and governance experts. Southeast Conference will also hire a consultant to evaluate existing governance structures, review prior studies of the AMHS and collaboratively create a proposal recommending governance models for review by the public and State of Alaska.  
The findings and recommendations of this project will lead into Phase Two when a "comprehensive operational and business plan" is developed. 
Southeast Conference is accepting contributions to this project.  To be a contributor please contact our office in Juneau or one of your local board members. 

Independent Workforce "creative class" survey
The state of Alaska and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation are conducting a survey of independent workers in Alaska. They would love your help in spreading the word in your communities in order to gain a statewide perspective on how creative class independent workers are contributing economically and filling gaps in the needs of Alaska businesses.
With your help in spreading the word about this survey we hope to accomplish the following: 
  • Identify Independent Creative Class workers throughout Alaska 
  • Make recommendations on how to attract additional independent workers from outside Alaska 
  • Identify policy changes that would support growth of the creative class in Alaska 
  • Provide a database of independent workers and services provided as a resource to Alaskan businesses 
Survey participants will be entered to win a round-trip, domestic ticket on Delta Air Lines. Additionally, survey participants can elect to have their services listed on the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation website (or relevant local host site) as a resource for businesses looking to contract independent creative class workers. The survey takes about 5-7 minutes to complete and responses will remain anonymous. 
Upcoming Events and Notices
The 2020 Plan is out for public comment

Lemonade Day June 11, 2016 

Annual Meeting - Petersburg Alaska Sept. 20-22, 2016