Juneau, Alaska – Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company has pledged to renew a $300,000 commitment to the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Center for Mine Training for their “Pathways to Mining Careers” program beginning in Fall 2017. This brings the company’s total investment in local mine training to more than $900,000 since 2011.
The program is a unique collaboration between UAS and Hecla Greens Creek instructors to prepare students for mining careers by offering introductory high school dual enrollment courses at UAS, short-term occupational endorsements in Mine Mechanics and the Associate’s degree in Power Technology/Diesel Mechanics. The program also offers job shadowing opportunities with Hecla Greens Creek mentors. The “Pathways to Mining Careers” culminates in an opportunity for a six month term of probationary employment with the mine and a chance at full employment.
Joshua Magnuson, a UAS student studying diesel and power technology with a marine emphasis, has been putting his skills to use at the Greens Creek Mine and says he found his new career through the UAS Center for Mine Training. “I appreciate HECLA for giving me a scholarship and an opportunity to pursue my education in a field that I love” said Magnuson.
Mike Satre, Hecla’s Manager of Government and Community Relations, says the return is well worth the investment. “Our donation has provided dozens of Southeast Alaska residents the qualifications needed to be hired in our growing, high tech industry,” he observed. “Creating and retaining a local workforce provides significant benefits to both the mine and the surrounding communities. However, establishing a local workforce does not happen overnight. That’s why Hecla is proud to continue our investment in the Pathways to Mining Careers program at the University of Alaska Southeast. We look forward to continuing this partnership with UAS and continuing to provide opportunities for Alaskans and their communities to directly benefit from the economic opportunities that mining offers.”