Workforce Development at Sealaska
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Sealaska’s financial success allows for increased investment in workforce and career development, a priority consistently reflected in shareholder surveys. Sealaska seeks shareholder input and invests in areas highlighted by shareholders. Through increased support for workforce development, Sealaska helps shareholders and descendants advance professionally, grow into leadership roles and give back to their communities.

Sealaska’s communications team recently had the opportunity to sit down with Senior Director of Shareholder Development Tesla Cox to talk about what opportunities 2022 has in store for shareholders. Cox, a Sealaska and Goldbelt shareholder, is excited about the rapid growth of Sealaska’s shareholder and workforce development programming and hopes to match interested shareholders with opportunities that fit their goals and desired career path.

What can shareholders and descendants expect to see from Sealaska’s Shareholder Development department in the coming months?

  1. Post-Secondary Education

A partnership between Sealaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks provides in-state tuition to shareholders and 10% off all eCourses regardless of where you live, reducing barriers to education and providing an Alaska based education for our shareholders across the country.

  1. Student Sponsorship Program

This program offers students the opportunity to attend a selection of professional conferences and seminars at no cost, providing networking and educational opportunities. During the American Indian Science and Engineering Society Leadership Summit this April, one Sealaska-sponsored participant lined up five interviews for STEM careers after graduation!

  1. Next Steps Program

This bonus incentive program helps support tribal and municipal organizations in finding and retaining talent to fill critical vacancies. Through this program, Sealaska pays a signing bonus and incentives (at three, six, nine and 12 months of employment) directly to the employee. To register as a qualifying employer, please submit a request detailing the number of employees they expect to hire in 2022, how their organization impacts tribal communities or people and how they expect this program to help them grow. This program first launched on Prince of Wales Island in response to wind down of the timber industry and has resulted in finding a number of employees to fill important local positions, including Hydaburg harbormaster, tribal library staff and enough employees to see the Hála Café in Hydaburg reopen. For more information, contact Tesla Cox.

  1. Trainings

A variety of vocational training opportunities in fields like construction, marine mammal observation and heat pump installation are currently in the works. Offered to shareholders and descendants free of charge, these trainings allow participants to expand their skills in areas that are in demand and connect with employment opportunities upon completion. For more information, contact Tesla Cox.

Why is this being prioritized now?

Sealaska has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, which allows us to provide additional benefits to shareholders outside of dividends. When surveyed, shareholders have consistently asked to see more support for workforce development and vocational training. Sealaska continues to listen to input and feedback as new programs are implemented. We remain grateful for the success that funds these programs and plan to continue offering opportunities for shareholders to grow.

What results does your team hope to see from investing in shareholder development?

Sealaska aims to eventually provide shareholder development programming to reach all shareholders, not just the ones attending college — that’s based on shareholder feedback that we absolutely agree with. Sealaska is growing our capacity to provide development opportunities for the many different paths our people choose. By increasing trainings and skill development that can reach shareholders of all ages and stages of their careers, from coast to coast, we provide benefits not only to shareholders and descendants from all walks of life, but to our communities, which need trained professionals in the trades in addition to college-educated members of the workforce.

How can shareholders get involved?

In terms of ensuring that these new opportunities are a success, I’d like to encourage everyone to share opportunities with their friends and families. Word of mouth is invaluable, especially in our communities, and we always appreciate when people take the time to like, share, tag, text—whatever it takes to spread the word about upcoming programs Sealaska has to offer. It wasn’t very long ago that my auntie would notify me about all the different opportunities offered by my ANCs. Without a nudge from her every now and then, I would never have known about programs that I participated in and would have lost out on valuable experience and growth.

We have a full year planned with tons of new programs and something that will fit for everyone. Stay up to date on the latest news at, check out the eNews and social media. There are so many great things coming and we want to connect as many shareholders and descendants as possible with all the exciting opportunities that we have to offer!

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