Mining Services and Supply Cluster Working Group Action Initiatives
Cluster Co-Chairs: Facilitation ended in 2014
- A mining procurement event was held at the Alaska Miners Association conference.
- A local firm received two contracts from local mines for equipment rebuilds.
- A better understanding of the needs and requirements for industrial land has been established.
A review of Mining Services and Supply Cluster Working Group initiatives is found below.
Hold Mining Procurement Event
The goal of this initiative was to expand the quantity and quality of services and supplies provided to the mining industry from firms in Southeast Alaska through a mining procurement event.
- An event was held on February 15, 2013 at the Alaska Miners Association (AMA) conference.
Develop Juneau as a Regional Rebuild Service Center
This initiative explored the opportunity for Juneau to become the preferred rebuild service center for current and future mining companies in Southeast.
- In 2012, the team held conversations with CBJ sales tax director and determined that the CBJ Assembly is not likely to support treating the purchase of parts for a rebuild favorably regarding sales tax or open to a sales tax revision. The team also contacted several helicopter rebuild firms in Vancouver, Canada, to try to determine the potential value and feasibility of helicopter rebuilds in Juneau.
- In 2013, several obstacles to achieving this outcome were identified. They included a willing and able entrepreneur to start a rebuild business, CBJ sales tax structure, availability of a suitable and affordable shop space to complete the work, and availability of qualified workers (workforce development). A connection was made with one local entrepreneur who expressed interest in taking on small rebuild projects to receive delivery of a rebuild that would have otherwise gone out of region.
- In 2014, a local firm received two contracts from local mines for equipment rebuilds that would have left Southeast Alaska.
Identify, Develop and Market Services and Products for Mines
This initiative explored a mechanism for developing a sustainable line of communication between mines and local service providers and suppliers so that they may be more effective and efficient in working together.
- In 2012, the initiative team explored distributing information online about the services of mining support firms to mining companies on the Alaska Miners Association’s website. They initiated outreach to the AMA about this but determined that the AMA was not ready to take this step. No further action was planned.
Promote Vocation/Trades Training Opportunities and Career Building in Environmental Science and Engineering
This initiative identified specific needs for trades occupations in the region.
- In 2012, a gap analysis was determined to be the first step in determining regional demand for skilled trade workers and environmental technicians and engineers. The initiative team developed a survey to determine the needs of mines and support firms that asked about the need for and availability of skilled trades workers, the need for and availability of environmental scientists and engineers, and the need for and availability of industrial land.
- The survey was distributed at the 2013 Innovation Summit and through the contact lists for the Juneau and Ketchikan chapters of AMA. The survey link could be scanned with a QR code reader on a smart phone, or accessed directly with a short-link on the survey card. The number of responses to the survey from that effort was limited (29), but the responses indicated that the greatest need was for mechanics. It was also determined that the demand for environmental scientists and engineers is not enough to initiate a program at UAS. UAS began to map existing programs and services to document the supply side.
Develop Industrial Land within CBJ
The goal of this initiative was to identify and set aside new parcels of low-cost land to be zoned industrial for future development.
- In 2012, the team determined through discussions with commercial realtors that the central issue associated with industrial land in Juneau is not cost but is associated with the features of the land: the need is for well-drained land with better access to infrastructure (e.g. various parcel sizes that are relatively flat, have road access, utilities, and proximity to the airport). In 2013, the survey distributed through the AMA and Innovation Summit confirmed that the lack of attractive features is the main issue with finding suitable industrial land in Juneau. No further action is planned, but attention focused on the issue has resulted in a better understanding of needs and requirements for industrial land in Juneau.