UAA officials and local dignitaries cut the ribbon to officially open the new MAPTS center at KPC.
Classes are back in session at Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) and some of those classes are being held in a new facility that was dedicated August 23rd by a host of UAA officials and local dignitaries. “It’s our first new building at KPC in about 24 years and we are very excited to have the new Mining and Petroleum Training Service facility on line,” said KPC director Gary Turner. Following the official MAPTS ribbon cutting and dedication last week, KPC held their traditional welcome back community barbeque under drizzling skies with the gourmet grilling of Steve Horn.
Former Lt. Governor and present University of Alaska Chancellor Fran Ulmer was on hand for the dedication and pointed to the important mission the new facility will under take, “It was terrific to hear the stories that were told by the folks who have been part of MAPTS since the beginning. Fifty thousand graduates in thirty years that’s an accomplishment to really be proud of. There are all kinds of people across Alaska today who have jobs in the oil and gas and mining industry who got the training for those jobs because people had a vision for this program and now this new facility will assure future Alaskans can be trained for new jobs and that Alaska will have the economic benefits of a trained workforce to fill the jobs that those industries will require. Clearly the petroleum and mining industry really relies on the training that MAPTS does and this facility and this program is really the place statewide that the University of Alaska supports for non-credit training in this area and is the largest training program in North America recognized here and elsewhere as being a leader, a best practices facility and I suspect in the future we will see not only people on the Kenai Peninsula and Alaska but from the lower 48 coming here for the training offered here at MAPTS,” said Ulmer.
The MAPTS program already has a waiting list of students says Ulmer, “Gary Turner is doing a very good job with the whole KPC team to step up to the need at MAPTS and hopefully we will have the kind of funding that is required from the legislature and the Board of Regents in order for us to meet Alaska’s need in the future.”
That future need was represented at the ribbon cutting by director Dennis Steffy, his daughter Melissa Averill & grandkids Isaac and Sadie, who are the next generation of MAPTS students and instructors. The first director of KPC Clayton Brockel was also on hand and praised all who had lent a hand in making the facility a reality.
According to Gary Turner all non-resident tuition has been waved at KPC, “So if you’ve just moved to the area or have been here less than a year, you only have to pay resident tuition, which is a real bargain. The reason for this is that president Hamilton approved the waiver for one year as a test because most of our students who enroll as non-resident are not coming here particularly to go to college, but these are people who are moving here to stay or because there family has moved here or for a job so now they will pay resident tuition and I feel that is a real plus for students here,” said Turner.
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