SENATOR MURKOWSKI SUPPORTS TRAINING FOR AN ALASKA NATURAL GASLINE WORKFORCE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Murkowski today reiterated her support for construction of the Pipeline Training Facility in Fairbanks at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on workforce labor shortages.
“We must ensure we have the workers to build and operate a gas pipeline in Alaska,” said Senator Murkowski. “We need to jumpstart efforts to recruit and train workers, before we find ourselves with a shortage of workers throughout the entire energy industry at a time when we are anticipating massive investment.”
Senator Murkowski is fighting to get $3 million appropriated for construction of the Pipeline Training Facility in Fairbanks. The facility was authorized in 2004. Nationally, the energy industry employs over 1 million workers – from pipe welders to linemen, engineers and construction workers. 500,000 of these workers are expected to retire within 5 – 10 years, creating a serious national shortage of qualified workers in the energy industry. In Alaska, constructing the gas pipeline could require as many as 8,000 workers. In order to minimize a shortage of qualified workers, Senator Murkowski has been an advocate for increased vocational education and high school technology classes in order to increase the pool of skilled technicians and engineers.