Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) invests in residents’ education and career goals, understanding that strengthening individuals also strengthens our communities in ways that hit more than just economics. With economic development as our guide, NSEDC provides education, employment and training opportunities for the residents in our 15 member communities in a multitude of ways.
NSEDC offers scholarships to students enrolled full-time at an accredited college, university or vocational school. These scholarships provide supplemental funds for higher education or vocational training in the amount of $3,500 per semester or training session. Part-time funding is available for students who are living in the Norton Sound region while taking classes and enrolled in a degree program.
The NSEDC Board of Directors feels one of the best ways to stimulate economic development in the Norton Sound region is to invest in the education of our residents. This investment helps enable residents to obtain the education required to qualify for jobs available in the region that would otherwise be filled by outside expertise. Since 1992, NSEDC has awarded more than $ 12.5 million in scholarships.
- NSEDC Scholarship Guidelines
- NSEDC Scholarship Application
- Residency Verification Form
- NSEDC Continuing Scholarship Application
NSEDC is one of five organizations that provides an all-in-one application for students in the Norton Sound region. Through MyCache (Combined Application for College & Higher Education), students fill out one application that includes a few added question unique for each scholarship.
Growing Our Own Teachers
NSEDC is proud to have in place two programs geared to help increase the number of Norton Sound residents working as teachers in our public schools. Introduced in January of 2018, the Student Loan Repayment Program and Growing Our Own Teachers Discretionary Grant aim to have those who know our region and cultures best teaching the next generation. The Student Loan Repayment Program repays up to $20,000 of a resident’s student loans incurred in the pursuit of their degree and certification required to teach in our region’s public schools. The Growing Our Own Teachers Discretionary Grant makes up to $40,000 available annually for eligible nonprofit organizations and schools in the region that have projects related to increasing the number of home-grown teachers. Individual awards under this program are capped at $20,000. The links below provide more information and applications for both programs.
Commercial Pilot Scholarship & Commercial Pilot Loan Repayment Program
In response to a shortage of commercial pilots in the Norton Sound region, the reliance on air service throughout the region, and the local economic opportunities in the aviation field, the Norton Sound Board of Directors approved the Commercial Pilot Scholarship and Commercial Pilot Loan Repayment Program.
The NSEDC Commercial Pilot Scholarship is for Norton Sound residents pursuing education and training to become commercial pilots working for Norton Sound regional air carriers. To be eligible, residents must be enrolled at an accredited college or university pursuing a degree in professional piloting or enrolled at an established flight training school pursuing professional flight training with the intent of becoming a commercial pilot in the Norton Sound region. The current award amount for the Commercial Pilot Scholarship is $1,500 per semester or certificate/rating, which will be awarded in addition to NSEDC’s current higher education/vocational award of $3,500, for a total of $5,000.
The NSEDC Commercial Pilot Loan Repayment Program is for Norton Sound residents who permanently resided in the region prior to obtaining their degrees or certification, and have been employed full time as a commercial pilot with an air carrier based in Alaska for a minimum of one year with the intent of being stationed in the Norton Sound region. Residency in the Norton Sound region must be established prior to attending college or flight training school and maintained throughout schooling. The program repays up to a total of $20,000 of a student’s loans used for professional flight training. Annual payments will be made to the lending agency over a five-year period. Upon their second year of flying full time in Alaska, applicants meeting all other requirements will be eligible for the loan repayment program. To continue in the program, participants will need to reside in the Norton Sound region by the time they apply for their second annual loan payment.
NSEDC is excited to provide an avenue for residents to gain valuable work experience and professional development by engaging in productive and meaningful work within NSEDC Departments.
- Internship applicants must qualify as a Norton Sound Resident under NSEDC’s Norton Sound Residency Guidelines. Proof of current residency is required as part of the application.
- Applicants must also be:
o Current recipients of an NSEDC scholarship and in good academic standing, or
o Recent post-secondary gradates (within one year) who received an NSEDC scholarship during their post-secondary studies, or
o Recent high school graduates who have been accepted to college or technical school and plan to attend in the fall
- If you are a current or recently graduated post-secondary student, please state your major or areas of study, and submit your official transcripts. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Recent high school graduates must submit an acceptance letter from a college or technical school.
For more information, contact EET Director Niaomi Brunette at (800) 650-2248.
The NSEDC EET Program also works to connect residents to employment opportunities with many of our industry partners, including Glacier Fish Company and Siku Holdings. Glacier Fish Company employs successful trainees who are certified from AVTEC in Seward, as well as residents who have successfully worked in NSSP seafood plants. Glacier Fish Company harvests pollock and groundfish in the Bering Sea with the Alaska Ocean and Northern Glacier. A significant portion of NSEDC’s crab holdings are harvested by Siku Holdings, which includes the vessels Aleutian No. 1 and Patricia Lee.
NSEDC also works to connect residents with opportunities at land-based seafood plants in places like Dutch Harbor.
Fisheries Safety Orientation Class
Realizing that commercial fishing in Alaska is an occupation with inherent risks, NSEDC invests heavily in the safety of our seafood processors. Since 1992, NSEDC has sponsored an eight-day Fisheries Safety Orientation Class at the Alaska Vocational Technical Education Center (AVTEC) in Seward.
All expenses for transportation, food, lodging, and tuition for trainees are paid by NSEDC. In compliance with the U.S. Coast Guard Zero Tolerance law, all trainees must submit to a drug screen urinalysis with negative results and abstain from alcohol. The certified seafood processors of this program are eligible for hire by Glacier Fish Company of Seattle and other trawler companies and seafood employers on sea and/or on land. During the training, Glacier Fish Company human resources personnel from Seattle interview trainees for possible employment. Each trainee must have two pieces of identification to work on the high seas, a picture identification (i.e. Alaska Driver’s License, Alaska State identification) and a birth certificate or Social Security card.
Community Based Training
NSEDC’s Community Based Training program has sponsored several educational opportunities in our member communities:
- Global Positioning System (GPS) training
- Marine Crew Safety training
- AMSEA Drill Instructor training
- Sled building
- Inupiaq language
- Skin sewing
- CPR and First Aid
- Crab pot building
- Driver’s license and CDL training
- Traditional bowl and spoon making
- HAZWOPER training
These training opportunities are available upon request from the communities. A minimum of 10 interested residents is required before the training can be approved. Request a Community Based Training class in your community:
Community Employment Program
Every summer, NSEDC provides funding to municipalities and tribal organizations to hire individuals seeking education beyond high school. The Community Employment Program benefits the community organizations, along with the students returning home for summer employment.
Norton Sound Seafood Products training
Depending on their positions, Norton Sound Seafood Products personnel have received training in OSHA Safety Regulations, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, Refrigeration, Quality Control, and Operator of Uninspected Passenger vessel (OUPV) or six-pack license.
For more information contact: Niaomi Brunette at 907.274.2248 or 800.650.2248.