Alaska National Guard youth program cited as nation's best

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2002

FORT RICHARDSON (AP) -- The Alaska National Guard's youth program has been recognized as the best in the nation for job skills.

The Alaska Military Youth Academy at Fort Richardson takes at-risk teens and puts them through a semester-long boot camp. Each state's National Guard has a similar ''Challenge'' program.

The National Guard Bureau recognized Alaska's program for offering job training that includes carpentry, food service and computer software.

Among graduates from the academy, 85 percent find jobs, said Gen. Phil Oates, Alaska National Guard commander.

''Marketability and having an in-demand skill is critical to our students' long-term success,'' said Ed Wicher of the academy.

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