“Now hiring” might have been the slogan for the summer of 2021. Signs advertising increased wages and other benefits peppered the business landscape in Homer. The lack of available workers forced businesses to reduce their hours and limit services while the southern Kenai Peninsula was experiencing a boom in tourist traffic. The marine trades were no different and KPC was uniquely positioned to help. For 25 years, KBC has offered classes in marine technology in both the spring and fall semesters, providing a timely and affordable way for local mariners to advance their skills and find employment in Homer and beyond.In the last four years KPC has awarded more than 80 US Coast Guard certifications—from a 100 Ton Masters License, qualifying students as OUPV/charter boat captains who can operate Inspected Passenger Vessels, to Able Seaman certificates. Graduates of these classes have gone on to work locally on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service research vessel, the Tiglax, statewide on the Alaska Marine Highway ferries, internationally on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s research vessel, the Sally Ride, and many others.Then there’s the Deckhand Skills class, which teaches the basics in one weekend and is popular with high school students and individuals looking to earn a spot on a commercial or sport fishing boat for the summer. And the Coastal Navigation course teaches recreational boaters about the specifics of Kachemak Bay. KBC also offers a rotation of classes in net building, outboard engine maintenance, marine hydraulics, and marine refrigeration. Mark Zeiset of South Central Radar offers Marine Electronics, Adam Smude of Breakwater Marine teaches both DC Electricity for Marine Vessels and Marine Vessel Systems, and Brad Conley of Bay Welding Services teaches Computer Aided Design: Marine Technology every semester.Homer Marine Trades Association each year sets aside thousands of dollars in scholarship money for those entering or committed to advancing their skills in the marine trades. All this adds up to a much-needed boost in available workers for the marine trades in 2021. Jill Burnham, KBC programs coordinator, said, “I spent a good deal of time this summer forwarding calls for captains and deckhands to our graduates, and I know many of them got jobs on the water.” Joshua Bradshaw Joshua Bradshaw is a double mariner here in Homer. He graduated from Homer High School (home of the Mariners) in 2021, and grew up in a family in the marine trades. Josh didn’t expect to make his future on the water. He was on track to be a college wrestler, having dominated the state wrestling scene in Alaska, but a debilitating injury in his senior year as wide receiver for the high school football team made college wrestling impossible and he had to rethink his future. At 19, Josh has a great deal of sea time and set his sights on getting certified in the marine trades. “I was recovering from surgery and had a window of opportunity. Having the Master 100 Ton course here in Homer was [...]
This project constructs a new large vessel port on the north side of Homer’s existing Small Boat Harbor. A natural shelf and local source of rock makes construction of a port basin with 40-60 large vessel slips and secure homeport and layover accommodations for US Coast Guard assets feasible. Homer’s central, road-connected location, renowned marine tradesmen and ice free conditions make it an ideal location.
Among the properties that the Kenai Peninsula Borough owns is some land off Kachemak Drive in Homer, which is prime real estate for moose to hang out in -- and for storing fishing boats. It’s not as big a conflict as it might seem at first.
The last session of FOL's at Homer High School have come to a close & school's out for the summer. Congratulations to the four students who completed all seven classes. Grace Godfrey, Ethan Pitzman, Chad Morris and Riley Jones (not pictured).Special thanks to the following businesses and individuals who gave so much of their time to make these marine trade classes possible: Brad Conley - Bay Weld Boats, Patrick Lane - F/V Predator, Curtis Jackson - Bulletproof Nets, The United States Coast Guard, Ian Pitzman- Fortune Sea LLC, Peter Neaton - F/V Oracle, Isabelle Leopold - M/V Golden Alaska. And last but certainly not least, teacher Reba Temple for her enthusiasm to share her love of the sea.From left: student Skyler Bond, Lucinda Martin Wells of Fargo Bank, student Grace Godfrey, Kate Mitchell of NOMAR, student Jonah Socha, FOL coordinator Reba Temple, and student Shyanne Sallee.
What's HMTA passionate about? Helping to create the next generation working in the Marine Trades. Meet Jessica Bouman, this year's $1000 HMTA Vocational Scholarship recipient. Jessica is a graduate of Homer High School and is a highly motivated individual who grew up in a self-employed family. She developed a passion for all things relating to machinery and took to welding in high school courses which she excelled in. She is enrolled at AVTEC for their 9 month Combination Welding Course and hopes to run her own mobile welding operation someday. HMTA hopes to make a difference in this individual’s life through our scholarship program. Way to go Jessica! Kate Mitchell, HMTA President, Jessica Bouman & Cinda Martin, HMTA Secretary
Congratulations to Kalen Molodih, the 2019 HMTA $1000 Scholarship winner. He is enrolled in the welding program at AVTEC for classes that begin this fall. Pictured are: Cinda Martin of Wells Fargo & our HMTA Scholarship Chair, Kalen Molodih, 2019 graduate Homer High & Scholarship winner, Mark Zeiset of South Central Radar and HMTA President Photo Credit: McKibben Jackinsky
Homer may have its toes in Kachemak Bay, but last week Homer Deputy Harbormaster Matt Clarke, the Homer Marine Trades Association and many of Homer’s marine-related businesses cast their eyes toward a larger world at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, Washington.
The Goldbelt Seawolf, a 74 foot-long catamaran, launched from Homer this month headed for service in Southeast Alaska. Built by Bay Welding, The Goldbelt Seawolf is the largest vessel ever to be built in Homer.
Some people might have seen melted aluminum, charred wood and a hull filled with disgusting muck. Not Patrick O’Neill. In October 2016, when O’Neill saw the “for sale” sign on what was left of the Odik, a Bristol Bay fishing boat, he saw what it could be.