Pete Traxler is the executive dean of Career Education at University of Alaska Southeast. (University of Alaska Southeast | Courtesy Photo)

Pete Traxler is the executive dean of Career Education at University of Alaska Southeast. (University of Alaska Southeast | Courtesy Photo)

UAS Career Education program teaches real skills

Ever thought that college wasn’t for you?

I have. I come from a quaint little farming town in the Midwest — you know the one that every country western star has ever sung about — with the dusty boots and neighbors that go out of their way to help you. The kind of place where your word means more than any piece of paper. The kind of place that is so small it doesn’t even show up on a map.

When I was growing up, the people in that place rarely told a young man that he should go to college. They were more likely the type of people that cared about how many touchdowns you scored on a Friday night, or the kind of tractor your daddy drove.

I learned morality and values from these folks. I also learned that to survive in this world you need skills. I’m talking about the kind of skills that are taught by someone who has “been there, done that.” Like fixing a broke-down truck, welding a cattle gate, building a grain shed or caring for an elderly family member.

Today I’m Dean of Career Education at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), and my job is to help young people develop these skills to make a better life for themselves and their families. This is where I found my passion and my purpose: through teaching and learning new skills, and helping others learn those skills. I’m lucky enough to get to do this at UAS.

Learning these skills over a long and successful life comes with a cost. A cost of time. A wise man said to me once, “time is our most valuable commodity in life. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.” I am happy to say that all of the instructors that teach skill courses at UAS — in mechanics, nursing, construction and welding — know that life is short and we can all stand to learn a little more each day.

Officially our school is called Career Education, but you would better recognize us as mariners, fishermen, welders, miners, mechanics, nurses, EMTs and nurse aides. All of these are taught right here in Juneau at the UAS Technical Education Center. Maybe it’s not what you might think of when you think about college, right? But we teach real skills leading to good paying jobs that are in high demand and are valuable both in the workplace and at home.

Right now there is no better time to enroll in one of our UAS Career Education programs. We’ve just cut the cost of tuition by 25 percent for all classes associated with a trade-based endorsement, making it even more affordable to gain skills in accounting, healthcare, construction, mine mechanics, welding and more.

If you ever thought college wasn’t for you, then you’ll fit right in with us. We are a group of people who have become experts in our fields from the School of Hard Knocks. We teach others based on our own experience and mistakes. So whether you are looking to make a career change, to build a house or fix some of your belongings, or care for a loved one who is sick, you can learn about it at UAS. You’ll learn from folks who value you as person more than your title or position — just like those folks in my home town.

We’d welcome a chance to give you a tour of the UAS Technical Education Center, located on Egan Drive right across from Juneau-Douglas High School. You can meet our faculty and talk with an advisor who can help in choosing classes or a career path. Give me a call at 796-6139 and we can set that up. Or, check out our website at www.uas.alaska.edu. This is the time!


• Pete Traxler is the executive dean of Career Education at University of Alaska Southeast. My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


More in Opinion

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

t
Opinion: Let’s keep the mandatory real property disclosure ordinance

It will better ensure fair, accurate and efficient property tax assessments and collections.

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Playing the old-timer card

Is the Empire really only interested in the problems faced by small communities?

Heavy metals run out of the Tulsequah Chief mine opening and down to holding ponds next to the Tulsequah River Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file)
Opinion: Officials must keep up pressure to clean up BC mine

In March 2017 I had a Commentary published Pacific Fishing Magazine imploring… Continue reading

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

t
Opinion: The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The internet has opened doors and pathways to more than we could… Continue reading

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party.

teaser
Opinion: If you see something, say something

Together we can fight to preserve this pristine place we live.

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

t
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

Some argue that the federal government paid out far too much money… Continue reading

signs
Opinion: A conversation about mental health

All in all, we want you to know that you are not alone.

Anselm Staack (Courtesy Photo)
Opinion: Controlling women’s bodies — the coming tsunami

The Thomas Court wants to return us to the days before the 1960s, preferably to 1776.