Official says DOT needs qualified workers

Nov 06, 2013 -- 9:15am
-  FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Alaska transportation Commissioner Pat Kemp says his agency is having trouble finding qualified entry-level workers. The Fairbanks Daily-Miner says Kemp discussed the issue Tuesday at the weekly luncheon of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. Kemp says tight competition, changing interests and drug-testing requirements have decreased the supply of young candidates for jobs with the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Kemp says it's difficult to find workers who are capable of doing varied tasks that could require knowledge of hazardous materials, use of chemicals and airport regulations. He says that among factors, many entry-level workers can't pass a drug test required to obtain a commercial driver's license. According to Kemp, if a gas pipeline is built in the state, the job situation would be worse.

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