Fish Radio
November 22, 2013

 Training future AK processing professionals

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Training the next generation of Alaska seafood processing professionals – That’s up next —

 The At-sea Processors Association’s contributions to Alaskan universities represent the largest privately funded marine research program in Alaska’s history. Learn more at  www.atsea.org                                                                      

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.             

                                                
 People often talk about the graying of the fleet and the need to build future ranks of fishermen. The same applies to Alaska processors who also need recruits to keep those companies working. That’s been the goal of the Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute, begun by Alaska Sea Grant in 2006.

 Our goal as the University, as the Alaska Sea Grant program in doing this is work on the succession of the seafood industry in our state because it’s such a strong part of our economy.   

Paula Cullenberg is Alaska Sea Grant director. Each year Alaska companies sponsor an employee who wants to advance his or her career in the seafood business. They begin with an eight day crash course of workshops and training at Kodiak’s Seafood and Marine Science Center.

 This group of 15 people has assistant production managers, assistant plant managers, human resource managers, foreman, from, I think we have ten different companies represented here.   

Laura Delgado is a quality assurance manager for APICDA Joint Ventures in Anchorage. She called the various workshops “amazing.”

 From theory and science to actually cooking and preparing the seafood. We’ve canned salmon, we’ve smoked it, hot smoke, cold smoke, we’ve freeze dried it.  We toured a fish plant and have gone everywhere from the microbiology to the safety of working in the plant the week that we’ve been here. It’s been a great introduction to a broad-base of seafood overall.

 Ryan Musch holds the same job at Ocean Beauty Seafoods in Cordova. He said the hands on  training and networking is extremely beneficial. 
      
 It’s been fantastic. I’m pretty new to the industry, six months in. This has been  incredibly informative and good networking and just an overall great experience.  6

 The students  now have four months to use what they’ve learned in a project of their choosing. They’ll present their work in February in Anchorage when they reconvene  for leadership training. Ken Smith of False Pass is a plant manager for Bering Pacific Seafoods.

  How to process P-cod for instance, and what we could do with the insides of a P-cod to get better recovery. So that’s one of my projects that I think I’m going to work on.”

 Alexandria Troxell of Old Harbor is marketing director for Kodiak Island Wild Source. She wants to test  traditional methods on salmon preparations.

 And we do this kind of different smoked thing. But we’d have to figure out a way to make it safe to sell, so I was kind of thinking about doing that.

 Other Alaskans attended from Seward, Unalaska, Homer, Petersburg, King Salmon and Wasilla.

The program ends with a trip to the International Boston Seafood Show  in March. 

Thanks to the assist from KMXT/Kodiak  www.kmxt.org

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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