Ketchikan: Poised for Growth
Ketchikan’s maritime sector has all of the right raw materials necessary to support a future of accelerated maritime industry growth.
Ketchikan is geographically positioned adjacent the Pacific Great Circle trade route; a critical linkage between US and Asian markets. The Ketchikan region is a natural “bridge” between US/Canadian Pacific, and emerging arctic trade routes, which will see significantly increased maritime activity as polar ice caps continue to melt.
In Alaska, nearly all commercial and industrial activity is maritime-reliant. Marine technology moves ore to milling sites, cruise ship passengers to cultural attractions, and food to rural grocery stores. Jack-up rigs, commercial fishing vessels, and ferries all rely upon a competent shipyard workforce.
In the coming years, Ketchikan’s maritime industry sector can play an increasingly important role in supporting and realizing key State and National strategic priorities, including offshore energy development, support for new heavy and light rare earth element mines, national defense, increased domestic manufacturing, arctic preparedness, and realizing renewable energy goals (ex: submarine transmission lines, emerging technology such as offshore wind and tidal power, etc.).
Ketchikan’s maritime sector is characterized by rapidly emerging technology and opportunities, and an ever-globalizing marketplace demanding increased competiveness and innovation. These conditions present unique challenges to private businesses, which find themselves faced with rapidly evolving workforce development and infrastructure needs.
Workforce development, training, infrastructure, and community development needs are interrelated, and must be addressed interdependently, rather than independently. KMIC works to align investment strategies, and ensure that the needs of private sector employers are met through effective public-private-philanthropic investment.
A coordinated, industry-led investment approach will help Ketchikan be better positioned to meet evolving industry needs, and will help assure that our region’s businesses and families are able to benefit from emerging opportunities.
The maritime industry’s workforce and supply chain needs are similar to those of other industries, including mining, construction, and energy. Development of Ketchikan’s maritime industry will have cross-cutting benefits for these “allied industries” with overlapping needs, and will help support prosperity within “maritime-reliant” industries such as tourism and retail.