Donlin Gold is working toward enriching the lives of youth by supporting scholastic and technical skills opportunities. One of the ways Donlin Gold is paving the way for more educational opportunities in Alaska is through supporting educational programs such as EXCEL Alaska. EXCEL is a program that partners with the Kuspuk School District to help develop employability skills for students in the YK region.
From May 23 to June 6, 2016, EXCEL students participated in the Mining and Petroleum Training Service (MAPTS) University of Alaska program. MAPTS was founded in 1979 and provides health, safety and environmental training for industries in Alaska. Since its inception, MAPTS has trained over 100,000 individuals statewide, and has the largest enrollment of any similar program in North America. One of MAPTS’ focus areas in their training programs is mine safety.
Participating students in the MAPTS summer program were Walter Lee and Cally Phillips, of Aniak, Keisha Edmund, of Alakanuk, Jeffery Liskey, of Tuluksak, Johnny Beans and Nicholas Kelly, of Pilot Station, Miranda Bell and Diana Murran, of Hooper Bay, Russell Evan, of Marshall, and Tristan Flynn, of Scammon Bay. To take part in the program, students must have met a list of prerequisites, including completion of other EXCEL Alaska sessions with a recommendation from the program, obtaining a high school diploma, passing a drug test, having a valid driver’s license and being at least 18 years of age. Donlin Gold and Calista were pleased to co-sponsor the MAPTS training for Calista shareholders.
Students who qualified to participate in the program learned basic first aid and CPR, mining terminology, communication techniques, signaling, equipment inspection processes and mine duties that encompass a surface mine operator’s role.
During training, students also had the opportunity to operate ThoroughTec simulators, a technology developed for the mining industry to optimize performance of heavy equipment operated by the workforce. Students were taught a demanding set of criteria, preparing them to act safely, alert and with a high level of confidence as a surface mine operator. They then moved on to operating heavy equipment, which included a challenging driving track arena that required a high level of attention to surroundings. In addition, students learned radio skills and signals to communicate effectively and safely with other operators, vendors and persons.
This real-life influenced curriculum not only teaches students critical technical skills required for an entry-level position, but also provides them with confidence to develop a lifelong career.
Upon graduation from the MAPTS program, students were placed in internships to apply their newly-gained knowledge. In alignment with Donlin Gold’s efforts to develop a skilled workforce, internships were sponsored by Donlin Gold, helping cover the cost of wages, transportation, housing and meals.
Donlin Gold is happy to provide monetary assistance to organizations and programs designed to enhance education and technical skills. In addition to the EXCEL program and internships, Donlin Gold also sponsors scholarship programs through Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, as well as other scholastic and training opportunities.
If the project receives the necessary permits and moves into construction and production, Donlin Gold could provide up to 3,000 jobs during construction, and up to 1,200 jobs during its 27 years or more in operation. During this time, Donlin Gold will require an ample, prepared workforce to fill the thousands of high-paying careers offered. Donlin Gold encourages you to explore training resources in your area now and ensure you are eligible for the future workforce.