Alicia Siira Portrait
Alicia Siira
Executive Director
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Simple Messages in Uncertain Times
By Alicia Siira

hen the public health situation took a turn for the worse, we remained calm. Then we put our heads down and got to work. Although the city-wide lockdown and forced closure of countless local businesses was certainly concerning, AGC understands the critical importance of keeping Alaska’s construction industry building. Our members are responsible for key functions in the state’s response to COVID-19, from building critical infrastructure to maintaining and repairing our hospitals and clinics. And nobody understands better than our industry the necessity of working safely (let alone in the middle of a pandemic).

The collective voice of our members is AGC’s greatest asset. Our recent local advocacy effort to support the national “Keep Construction Essential” campaign helped accomplish just that. In November, we received a message from AGC of America detailing a few simple ways the construction industry and its various stakeholders could act to keep the industry categorized as essential. We immediately forwarded this message to our membership to ensure that the “Keep Construction Essential” campaign received as much local exposure as possible.

Through every new health mandate, travel restriction, and setback, we have worked tirelessly to ensure our message is heard. And the message is simple:

Continue categorizing the construction industry and the work it performs as essential.

Construction is safe.
Construction is essential.
But construction is also an industry that offers prospective job seekers some of the most lucrative career opportunities in the state. For younger individuals looking to kick-start their career, or for more established professionals simply seeking a change in scenery, construction is an industry with vast opportunity. Especially with the state experiencing uncomfortably high rates of unemployment, jobseekers should be looking to fill the immediate openings in the construction industry now more than ever. However, ours is also an industry that can, unfortunately, sometimes be overlooked.

That’s why we partnered with the Construction Industry Progress Fund to launch our latest workforce development campaign: “Build Alaska.” The goal of the “Build Alaska” campaign is designed to inspire, engage, and activate the next generation of Alaska’s construction workforce, while painting the public image of careers in the construction industry in the best light possible.

In September, CIPF commissioned Brilliant Media Strategies to shoot a series of video clips highlighting the work of AGC members that drive this industry. Videographers from Brilliant Media Strategies shadowed our members at a variety of jobs sites and training facilities, showcasing their diverse skill sets and specialties. The campaign officially launched during AGC’s first ever Virtual Annual Conference in mid-November, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. These testimonial videos, along with other information related to the campaign, can be found at

This is an industry comprised of more than 2,000 Alaskan companies built from nearly 16,000 employees. Wages paid to construction workers in 2018 totaled an estimated $1.25 billion, with an average salary sitting at $79,000. But the perks of working in this industry aren’t limited to compensation; construction industry professionals enjoy some of the best health benefits available and have access to a variety of training opportunities to advance their career.

For young people in particular, pursuing a skilled trade is an opportunity to get ahead. Taking on large amounts of student loans immediately after graduating high school isn’t for everyone. While college is always an option down the road, apprenticeship programs offer prospective workers an immediate taste of a profession while learning a marketable skill and pocketing some cash in the process.

But don’t just take my word for it—head over to our landing page, watch the videos, and find out for yourself why these inspiring professionals choose to build Alaska.

The landing page for our “Build Alaska” campaign also contains a number of useful resources for future and current construction workers. These resources include links to existing training programs, information on apprenticeship programs, and a variety of other informational videos. Our “Build Alaska” campaign will run through winter of 2021, so expect to see the hashtag #WeBuildAlaska bouncing around your feed for the next couple of months—and be sure to like, follow, and share to help us spread the word.

We are so grateful for your continued support, and for the part you play in sharing our mission as we help fortify Alaska’s economy during this period of uncertainty.

Alicia Siira
Executive Director