A Site
to Behold builds on the positive aspects of careers in the construction industry
By Matt Nevala
A Site to Behold builds on the positive aspects of careers in the construction industry
By Matt Nevala

ike any website worth its click-throughs, immediately catches a visitor’s eye by getting to the bottom line.

“Alaska’s construction industry is thriving! is your one-stop shop for info on careers, training, and jobs across the state. Get started and get paid!”

Scroll down the front page of the site—a digital marketing campaign between the Associated General Contractors of Alaska and the Construction Industry Progress Fund, or CIPF—and more numbers jump off the screen.

Average construction annual wage: $82,330

Percentage of construction workers’ wage above the average wage for all Alaska workers: 35%

What more do you need to consider a career in construction or a potential job change?

“By and large, when we talk to and survey our members, the thing keeping them up at night is workforce development, hiring qualified employees and all the associated challenges,” says AGC of Alaska Executive Director Alicia Amberg. “We set out to promote what the industry is all about in hopes of changing some hearts and minds.”

With the federal government set to send millions of dollars in infrastructure spending to Alaska, it’s more important than ever that the state have a ready workforce, capable of building the well-funded projects. focuses on getting would-be workers ready in the next twelve to eighteen months.

“We have to engage the next generation [of the construction workforce],” says AGC of Alaska Membership Director Clare Kreilkamp. “It will be some time before we’re able to measure the impact of the campaign, but we do know our local companies are in dire need of strong workers.”

screen grab of the Apprenticeships & Training page of
It’s all in the numbers. Click through to the How? page on and learn the average hourly wage and salaries of skilled craft careers in the construction industry.
Ruby Oatman is AGC of Alaska’s training and workforce development coordinator. As with most jobs, Oatman quickly learned of an “other duty as assigned.” She’s’s web designer.

“My first site,” Oatman says.

Originally from Gakona, she was immediately intrigued by the opportunity to include messaging specifically intended for rural Alaska on the site. Oatman also worked as a teacher for six years out in St. George on the Pribilof Islands.

“I rely heavily on my passion for education, teaching, and learning,” says Oatman. “Also, my heart will always be in rural Alaska. I was fortunate to work the summer construction season for six years and see all the positives enjoyed by family and friends who’ve worked in the industry.

“I hope people take advantage of this live, unbiased resource.”

The “Who” section of the site breaks down future workers by status:

  • Career Changes
  • College Students
  • Construction Employees
  • High School Graduates
  • High School Students
  • Rural Residents
  • Veterans
  • Women

For instance, click through the High School Students section and the landing page displays the following statement:

“If you are about to graduate high school, odds are you might be feeling pressure to know what to do next. Maybe you debate between finding a job that pays the bills or are possibly considering college. But have you thought about joining an apprenticeship or attending a trade school?

“If you are interested in joining an industry with high pay, great benefits, and plenty of jobs, the construction industry might be the perfect fit for you,” the site states.

Each individual section then offers links to how visitors can learn more. Current high school students can study the myriad careers connected to construction. They can also read about apprentice and training programs.

“The site is designed to be an evolving resource with new information and opportunities for careers in construction,” Oatman says. “It’s a work in progress that will keep getting better.”

screen grab from
Give it some thought. Visit and get up to speed on the almost endless number of career opportunities in the construction industry.
The site and campaign morphed into more after the AGC of Alaska and CIPF first produced multiple advertisements. The initial videos needed some editing to fit into today’s media environment.

“If you don’t catch people in the first five to 10 seconds, they’re likely gone,” says Kreilkamp. “Now, we’ve got it all locked into the site. We’re driving our audience to learn more about training and all the jobs out there.”

Kreilkamp says AGC of Alaska members, the businesses themselves, tell her repeatedly about not having the workforce they need to meet the volume of jobs. The campaign hopes to change that dynamic as the promise of even more work and prosperity for the industry is in the offing.

“We’ve taken our time to build this campaign,” Amberg says. “It’s being done the right way.”

If your interest isn’t already piqued, check out this testimonial featured on A welding professional named Kurdel writes, “Being part of a trade in the construction industry not only provided a higher wage, but it helped me be more confident in my day-to-day tasks at home.”

Veteran journalist Matt Nevala writes for the Alaska Sports Report (@AKSportsReport). Find him on social media at @MNevala9. All photos courtesy of The Associated General Contractors of Alaska.