Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2001

Summit Cleaners relocates

Summit Cleaners has moved its Kenai location on South Willow Street to 11616 Kenai Spur Highway near Little Ski-Mo's and across from Coffee Time Expresso.

Owner Jeff Graves said the new store has been open since Oct. 1.

"We needed more space," he said.

Aurora announces Nicolai Creek field production

Aurora Gas LLC recently started selling natural gas from its Nicolai Creek Unit on the west side of Cook Inlet. Production from its No. 3 well is now more than 2 million cubic feet per day, and it is rising as the well unloads fluids used during workover operations.

"We are very pleased with the well's performance thus far and are excited about moving into the next phase of our field development program," said Ed Jones, executive vice president and project manager.

Phillips contracts for spill response

Phillips Petroleum Co. has arranged for Marine Spill Response Corp. to provide primary spill response services on the West Coast and in Hawaii for Phillips subsidiary Polar Tankers Inc., whose ships carry crude oil Phillips produces on the North Slope.

Marine Spill Response is classified as a primary responder under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Phillips became a member of Marine Preservation Association, which funds Marine Spill Response, on Sept. 26. Marine Preservation Association is a nonprofit tax-exempt corporation formed to help petroleum and energy related businesses to address marine spills.

Feds fund labor-relations training

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has awarded $124,960 to ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 and the state of Alaska to fund labor management relations training to state supervisors and union stewards.

The goal of the training is to develop a working relationship based on mutual respect and an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of both parties under the collective bargaining agreement, state law and employer and union policies.

Union business manager Chuck O'Connell said the grant will pay for a facilitator plus meeting, materials and travel costs. The state and the union already have held eight training sessions in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Now, they will be able to hold 30 more sessions throughout the state.

SBA seeks award nominations

The U.S. Small Business Administration seeks nominations for the 2002 Alaskan Small Business Person of the Year award and other advocacy awards.

Nominees for Business Person of the year must meet criteria including staying power, growth in employment, increase in sales or unit volume, innovation, response to adversity and evidence of contributions to the community.

Advocacy awards are presented to people who have used professional skills or personal talents to further public understanding and awareness of small business. Categories include Women in Business, Home-based Business, Minority, Veteran, Accountant, Financial Services and Journalism. An advocate winner may or may not be an entrepreneur.

Special awards go to the Small Business Exporter and SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Federal Government Prime Contractor and Subcontractor of the year. Phoenix Awards go to people who have helped businesses or communities recover from a natural disaster.

For information on completing a nomination package, call 271-4838. The deadline is Nov. 9.

First National Bank Alaska earnings grow

First National Bank Alaska reported third-quarter earnings of $10.2 million, up from $8.8 million in the third quarter last year.

Outstanding loans reached $895 million during the third quarter, up from $768 million for the same period last year. Total deposits reached a record high of $1.05 billion, up from $969 million by the end of the third quarter last year. Assets grew to $1.78 billion.

Lower 48 job losses could increase state claims

Kenai Peninsula Borough unemployment averaged 6.4 percent in August, down from 6.7 percent in July but up from 6.2 percent in August last year. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the labor force totaled 23,533 in August, down from 24,197 in July but up from 23,377 in August last year. There were 22,038 wage-and-salary jobs, down from 22,577 in July but up from 21,918 in August last year.

Statewide unemployment was 5 percent, unchanged from July but up from 4.8 percent in August last year.

State labor economist Dan Robinson said layoffs and rising unemployment in the Lower 48 states could bring more job-seekers to Alaska.

Alaska says no layoffs, full schedule to resume

SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines expects to return to its full flight schedule by early February and will not have layoffs this year, the company told its employees.

In a letter to workers obtained by The News Tribune in Tacoma, Alaska Chief Executive John Kelly and President Bill Ayer also said job cuts were unlikely in 2002.

''Now, having completed a thorough review of our financial and strategic position, we're confident that, short of an unexpected, extreme circumstance, our people can be assured there will be no loss of employment for the remainder of this year. And that's the goal for 2002,'' Kelly said.

--Associated Press and Clarion staff reports

Although other airlines have laid off thousands, Alaska has been able to rely on its substantial cash reserves.

The company is taking some cost-cutting measures, however. It has delayed some major projects to save money and has asked employees to take voluntary leave.

Shares in Alaska Air Group, the parent company of the airline, were up 72 cents at $21.62 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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