Alaska Job Corps Carpentry Students come through in an Alaskan Emergency
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Alaska Job Corps Carpentry Students come through in an Alaskan Emergency


Alaska Job Corps students building emergency dog shelters

Alaska Job Corps Carpentry students are starting emergency dog shelter construction, due to a huge influx of malnourished dogs at the Mat Su Animal Control Shelter.  On Tuesday over 150 dogs were rescued from abhorrent conditions in Willow, Alaska. Early Wednesday morning the temperature was near zero with 40 mph winds.  The Alaska Job Corps contacted the shelter immediately and asked how they could help. The Animal Shelter was struggling with the sudden arrival of dehydrated, lame and sick animals. Bob Bassett, MSB shelter employee, was thrilled with the thought of Job Corps’s assistance on individual shelters.  He put together a small dimensional sketch and Job Corps got busy.   By Thursday, donated supplies were rolling in and the Carpentry classroom mobilized into a production shop for emergency dog houses. 

Instructor Tim Swan says this crisis is actually a training opportunity.  Dog houses are miniature homes and home construction is part of the carpentry training at Job Corps.  “The dog houses aren’t fancy, but craftsmanship, accuracy and structural integrity are important,” says the Construction Industry Supervisor, Cleve Robinson.  “We are fortunate to have some strong and capable carpenters at our center,” said Ken Northamer, Alaska Job Corps Center Director.  “Plus, we can use our recycled lumber and scrap materials too.  The Alaska Job Corps Center is a fully “green” center and the reuse of materials is our goal.”

Generous community donations and Job Corps labor will build these rescue shelters.  “We are part of our community, in both good times and bad,” said Barbara Hunt, Alaska Job Corps Center  Business and Community Liaison.  “This is an emergency and we are ready to help.”

Administered by the Department of Labor and operated by Chugach Government Service Inc. (CGSI), the Alaska Job Corps center is an academic and residential program located in Palmer, Alaska.  It serves 250 Alaskan students on a year-round basis and is known for its career technical training and education. 



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