The State of Construction and Welding in: Alaska

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Alaska has been seeing a bit of a rise in construction. According to the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, over $9 billion new dollars have been added to the state’s building industry in 2014, up from the previous year by 18 percent. Not surprisingly, most of the growth has come from the petroleum, gas harvesting and manufacturing side of the picture. The big push has come from significant investment in the petroleum industry’s assets in Alaska, adding capacity and capability for new project.

Federal Funding

Additionally, the federal government has been pumping more dollars into the state both through defense as well as rebuilding of the major highways across the Alaskan territory. State government has also been chipping in with a few billion dollars added to re-establish infrastructure across the state. All of this government effort makes up one third of the $9 billion in new construction that has been launched in 2014.

Construction Jobs

The fields that make up the remaining difference are varied and cover all types of construction. These construction projects will ultimately require welding technology to connect critical structures and reinforce buildings and roads. Per the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, these projects include the following investments:

  • $230 million in hospital and health care facilities
  • $170 million in commercial building
  • $851 million for utilities (a major buyer of welding services)
  • $76 million in rural industries
  • $205 million in mining operations (another big player)
  • $425 million in transportation hubs
  • $480 million in residential

The Big Three

There are plenty of other examples that make up the additional $9 billion, and the three big buyers in each one of them are private industry investment, federal spending, or Alaska state government spending.

The construction industry provides the second-highest wages in the state, according to Newsminer. With increased incentives and projects, numbers are likely to increase. However, a shift of workers is likely to occur, as well. With the drop in oil prices, many workers and skilled trade contractors currently in the Dakotas may now be looking northward to stay employed. However, many skilled workers have already adjusted to being migratory—staying where demand is located.

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Be Skill-Ready

Those thinking about relocating to Alaska to get in on the building boom would be best advised to be skill-ready, versus just showing up without training. Most of these projects are hiring teams, staff, and contractors who know their way around a welding torch, and these people are on demanding schedules. No surprise, they do not have the time to be teaching greenhorns how to do their work. Tulsa Welding School works to help solve this problem with an A to Z education in basic welding that makes any student ready to hit the ground and begin work, whether its on an oil rig, utility tower, airport reinforcement grid, or highway route rebar network. An abundance of information on how to receive welding certification is available online. Contact TWS today to get started.

So if you’re considering a jump northward, it’s a good direction given the promise in construction needs in Alaska. However, be prepared. Arrive with the right skill set and aim to get to work immediately as a result.

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