Now’s the time to net seafood industry jobs

Posted: Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring has arrived, which means seasonal job opportunities in the Alaska seafood industry.

Recruiting for more than 1,400 seasonal jobs got under way early this month and will continue through May for work during the Bristol Bay herring season in Naknek, for May and June in Dutch Harbor, with floating processors and others. Jobs with Kenai processors have yet to begin the hiring process.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Greg O’Claray said earlier this month that the key to landing one of these jobs is early contact.

“The season is almost here and it’s important for workers to contact job recruiters soon,” O’Claray said. “These seasonal jobs are an excellent opportunity for seafood processing workers to earn money quickly and continue to move up the career ladder.”

The salmon season in the Kenai area generally starts near the end of June, but the herring season in Bristol Bay offers workers who want to get a jump start on the season the chance to work for a few weeks, said Ken Firois, who works at the Kenai Job Center. Interviews for herring season jobs are taking place next week in Anchorage at the Anchorage Midtown Job Center.

“The season over there could only be seven to 12 days,” Firois said. “It’s a little shot in the arm before the season starts.”

It doesn’t have to be just a shot in the arm, though.

“A lot of these companies may keep people out there for the season, so people may be able to take it further,” he said.

Firois said many cannery workers on the central Kenai Peninsula prefer working near home, but jobs across the state are available now to those who don’t mind the travel.

An away job often means employees are fed and housed, which is usually not the case in Kenai.

The five major seafood processors in the area are Salamatof Seafoods, Snug Harbor Seafoods, Inlet Fish Producers and Pacific Star Seafoods in Kenai and Ocean Beauty Inc. in Nikiski.

Seattle-based Ocean Beauty is negotiating terms for a buyout by another Seattle-based group, Trident Seafoods Corp. The deal will make Trident the largest processor in Alaska. The deal is expected to be complete by salmon season, during which Ocean Beauty generally employs hundreds of workers.

There are at least 800 or 900 jobs available at some point during the salmon season on the central peninsula.

For more information on seafood jobs and to view a list of jobs available now, visit www.jobs.state.ak.us.



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