SWAMC Newsletter
December 2016
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Promoting Vibrant & Livable Communities in Southwest Alaska

Save the Date ––

SWAMC Economic Summit and Membership Meeting 

Dates: March 2nd & 3rd, 2017
Where: Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage

With 2016 quickly drawing to a close it is time to start focusing on the New Year. Our focus at SWAMC is our 2017 Economic Summit and Membership Meeting Scheduled for March 2-3, 2017 in Anchorage at the Hotel Captain Cook.  

We have adjusted the Summit to a two-day event based on member feedback, for reducing costs and addressing event fatigue that comes with the longer schedule. Please mark the date and make your plans. Hotel rooms are available at the Captain Cook at a reduced Conference rate. We hope to see you in March!  

(Photo of Moses Toyukak from Manokotak and Governor Bill Walker at SWAMC's 2015 Membership Meeting)
SWAMC Annual Meeting Info
Aleutians East
Aleutians West
Bristol Bay
Lake and Pen Borough
Kodiak Island
Pribilof Islands

SWAMC Launches
Energy Providers Network with DOE Kick-Off!

Laura Vaught, SWAMC Energy Coordinator and Project Manager for the new DOE grant, and Doug Griffin, Executive Director, traveled to Denver in mid-November to attend and present at the Department of Energy, Office of Indian Energy Annual Program Review.

This trip was the first of three required annual trips to Denver to present on progress being made under SWAMC’s recently awarded Technical Assistance Energy Provider’s Network grant. Since SWAMC is only one month into the three-year-long project, Laura’s presentation this year focused on the objectives of the project and what is currently being accomplished as the project starts up. 

During this visit to Denver, Doug and Laura took advantage of an exciting opportunity to tour the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. Vaught and Griffin, along with a group of other conference attendees learned about the various methods that are employed on the campus to save energy; the buildings are constructed to utilize natural light, to shade from the sun to keep rooms cool during late afternoon, and to divert rain water to use for landscaping. The most exciting part of the tour was the opportunity for the group to put on 3-D glasses and view 3-D models that were developed with NREL’s supercomputer. One of the models showed turbulence behind a wind turbine's spinning blades; another modeled airflow inside of a car!

The Annual Program Review was a great opportunity for Doug and Laura to meet representatives of Indian Tribes in the Lower 48 who are working on other projects funded by the Office of Indian Energy. It was an especially great opportunity for them to meet the other Alaskan grant recipients and learn how they plan to create an Energy Provider’s Network in their region!

SWAMC Organizes the Advisory Committee to Guide the MAKE Partnership

The MAKE Partnership is finishing up their first year as Alaska's Manufacturing Extension Partnership through the National Institute of Standards Technology MEP Program.

This month, staff focused on developing a 9-person MAKE Advisory Committee (MAC). Outreach for the committee was directed at manufacturers statewide with a heavy focus on maritime and seafood processing insight ;  MAKE's primary emphasis as they develop the program. SWAMC's Board member, Director Rebecca Skinner based in Kodiak, was elected ex-officio Chair to the Committee. The goal of the committee is to bring qualified individuals to the table, direct experience within the manufacturing industry, and to ultimately help guide the program's activities. 

During the outreach process, staff began with a strong list of 90 candidates and made direct contact with over 20 manufacturers. This one-on-one outreach with manufacturers made a big impact on the program as they move forward for 2017. The outreach process was beginning meaningful discussions and vetting out potential projects for the upcoming year. The program is enthusiastic about the year ahead and what MAKE can do for Alaska's manufacturers. MAKE especially would like to acknowledge the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program for providing quality services to clients in the manufacturing community this past year. The MAKE Committee plans to meet for the first meeting on December 14th, 2016.

The Dillingham and Naknek
Career Fairs
Naknek: January 18th
Dillingham: January 20th

The Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation will be reaching out to workforce and educational representatives this month to participate in their 2017 Career Fair hosted in Naknek and Dillingham.

Last year, Naknek Career Fair had over 40 representatives share with students and Dillingham reached over 80! Each group came from varied backgrounds to share career opportunities and resources for students in the Southwest. Although in the past, the Southwest Career Fairs have been schedule in February, this year organizers have moved the Career Fair in January in conjunction with a Basketball Tournament in hopes to attract more students in the region.

These Career Fairs have attracted over 600 students in recent years, bringing participants including businesses and partners from Washington and Alaska. This year, career fair organizers have included an evening of resources, the night before each fair, directed towards students and parents. This should be a jam packed few days of fun and career engagement.  Contact Charlene Lopez or Pearl Strub at BBEDC if you would like to get involved!

For more information about Workforce Development and Career Opportunities check out these sites:

(photo by KDLG)

Alaska Marine Conservation Council
10th Annual Ocean Boogie in Kodiak

This year marked the 10th annual Ocean Boogie hosted by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC). The event was held on November 12th from 7-10 pm at Tony’s Bar downtown. The Ocean Boogie celebration featured seafood appetizers provided by Monk’s Rock and live music by White Twang. The band included a guest fiddler, Jason Norris, from Anchorage. Tony’s was once again transformed into a marine themed, smoke free venue with an ongoing slideshow featuring fishing activity around the island.
“Ocean Boogie has become an after-summer fishing tradition for Kodiak. It’s a good excuse to get together and share stories, meet old friends and new acquaintances, all for a good cause” says Dave Kubiak, past board member of AMCC and long- time Kodiak fishermen.

“It is a wonderful time of year for Kodiak folks to get together” says Theresa Peterson, Kodiak Outreach Coordinator with AMCC and event coordinator. “After this year we are planning to move the Ocean Boogie to every other year so be sure to come out and celebrate our island community this year as the next event will not be until the Fall of 2018” Theresa says.

As pictured with Theresa Peterson, Ryan Horwath wins $10,000 in the cash raffle! The event helps continue to support AMCC’s work to promote healthy marine ecosystems and thriving coastal communities. For more information, visit their website at

(photo provided by AMCC)

Northern Opportunity:
Alaska's  Economic Strategy

The State of Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development is working with stakeholders throughout Alaska to develop a state-wide economic strategy. This effort will outline economic opportunities in the state, while identifying ways to mitigate challenges, barriers to business, and better deal with disruptions to our economy.

A critical component to developing the strategy and ensuring success is hearing from Alaskans across the state; an online survey is available for you to participate and lend your voice to this project! Share your thoughts about our economy and your vision for a prosperous Alaska at

The Alaska Seed Fund

The Alaska Seed Fund plans to award a total of $50,000 to innovators and entrepreneurs for the development of prototypes in Alaska.  One grand prize winner will receive a $20,000 Seed Grant and several other applicants will receive Kickstart Grants ranging from $3,000 to $10,000.
Applications are due by January 11, 2017 at 11:59 PM.  The application and eligibility information may be found at
  • December 4: Dillingham Arts Council Annual Christmas Bazaar
  • December 5-9: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, Anchorage
  • December 9th: Riding the Rising Tide of Seaweed Farming—Alaska's Opportunity, Anchorage
  • December 8 & 9: Bristol Bay Leadership Forum, Anchorage
  • December 9: Alaska Shellfish Growers Association, Anchorage
  • December 21-26: Nushagak Cooperative Christmas Lights Competition, Dillingham
  • January 18th: Naknek Career Fair
  • January 20th: Dillingham Career Fair
  • February 13th & 14th: HACCP Course, Kodiak
  • Febraury 15-17th: Better Process Control, Kodiak
  • March 2 & 3: SWAMC Conference, Anchorage
SWAMC Board Members
Layton Lockett - President 
Carvel Zimin - Vice President 
Rebecca Skinner - Treasurer
Glen Gardner 
John Whiddon
Cynthia Berns
Joe Sullivan 
Myra Olsen 
Mayor Alice Ruby
Paul Gronholdt
Doug Griffin - Executive Director
Erik Obrien-MAKE Director
Laura Vaught-Energy Coordinator
Hope Broecker- MAKE Client Services Coordinator
Theresa Dayton - Office Administrator
Become a SWAMC Member!
Copyright © 2016 SWAMC, All rights reserved.

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3300 Arctic Blvd. Suite 203
Anchorage, AK 99503

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Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) · 3300 Arctic Blvd. · Suite 203 · Anchorage, AK 99503 · USA

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