DATE: July 24, 2000         NO: 01-07

CONTACT: Mike Schiffer  Phone: (907) 269-4653

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

ALASKA’S WORKFORCE PLAN AUTHORIZED

U.S. Secretary of Labor Gives Green Light to Alaska’s five-year Plan

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor gave the state a "green light" and approved its five-year unified plan to implement the Workforce Investment Act, Alaska Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan announced today.

Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, in a June 29, 2000, letter to Gov. Tony Knowles, said, "We applaud the state’s efforts and believe the residents of Alaska will reap the rewards of this effort in the form of a workforce better prepared to succeed in the 21st Century."

"We’re very pleased that Secretary Herman approved our plan," Flanagan said. "It means that the workers and employers will be better served as we prepare Alaska’s workforce for the future."

Signed into law by President Clinton in 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) changes the way state labor departments do business by establishing new performance and accountability criteria and measuring the customer satisfaction of those seeking work and employers seeking workers. The WIA takes more of a community-based approach to job services than in the past and also strengthens the focus on employment statistics at local, state and national levels in order to provide sought-after information about job vacancies, occupations in demand, and the skills and earnings associated with them.

Alaska's Unified WIA Plan was the result of a cooperative effort between state workforce agencies, private industry, local governments, training providers, organized labor and the education community.

Alaska's current workforce system has been primed to implement the WIA by recent initiatives that promoted a closer working relationship with Alaska's business community and local municipalities to assist job-seekers and employers in the job market. These initiatives include:

  • The Alaska Job Center Network (AJCN), a one-stop job search system with 22 centers located around the state.
  • House Bill 40, passed last year by Alaska’s Legislature to consolidate employment, education, training and vocational rehabilitation programs.
  • Administrative Order No. 182, through which Gov. Knowles designated the state workforce investment board and local workforce investment areas.

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