CVRF launches new partnership for Mechanic/Welder Training

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Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) and Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 23 have partnered to create a unique training model for CVRF’s team of locally-based mechanic/welders, with the first training session scheduled for February 14-16 in Anchorage, Alaska.

CVRF employs a team of 15 full-time mechanic/welders and 29 part-time mechanic/welders who reside in rural Alaska communities across the CVRF region. The mechanic/welders employed by CVRF offer low-cost services and expertise to CVRF’s communities, ranging from aluminum boat repairs and small engine repairs to community infrastructure projects and building maintenance.

“The service we provide to the communities of the CVRF region has evolved from primarily fisheries-related support to servicing the common every day needs of all our residents,” said George Smith, CVRF’s Mechanic/Welder Regional Manager. “We are looking forward to the upcoming training program and the continued growth of our team’s expertise.”

As part of its ongoing employee training program, CVRF has teamed up with Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 23 to develop a model similar to an apprenticeship program for industry driven technical training, classroom study and industry recognized credentials, with a particular focus on the needs of residents in Western Alaska. The program will result in a network of skilled service technicians in the fields of oil-fired furnaces, air exchange systems, refrigeration, metal roofing, and sheet metal fabrication that act as liaisons in every CVRF community.

“One of the most requested skills in rural Alaska is trained people that can systematically diagnose and communicate results to repair facilities or manufacturers,” said Bob Marquez, CVRF’s Mechanic/Welder Service Manager. “The training model we are providing will enhance the existing skillset of our mechanic/welders, which will greatly benefit the communities they serve.”

In January, four of CVRF’s in-region mechanic/welder employees reached 10 years of service with the company. Joseph Joseph of Kongiganak, Paul Joe of Hooper Bay, Herman Beaver of Kwigillingok, and Jacob Rivers of Scammon Bay were all presented certificates recognizing and expressing appreciation for their years of hard work.

“The success of any employee training program begins with employees that model excellence,” said Daniel Mainor, CVRF’s Human Resources Manager. “The reliability of our mechanic/welders can be linked to their commitment, longevity and the experience of many of the team members, and that is why this training program will be a success.”

For more information about CVRF’s mechanic/welder program and the upcoming training, please contact Bob Marquez at 907-278-5151.