This article was originally published in Anchorage Daily News.
In many ways, Alaskans have come through the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever. However, despite a resilient recovery, there are still some significant challenges to overcome — particularly when it comes to Alaska’s workforce. Many employers are still struggling to find qualified workers to fill needed roles. Skilled professionals in a variety of sectors are backlogged across the state, leaving anxious customers waiting for a chance to hire them and use their services. Adding insult to injury, current Alaska law makes it difficult for skilled professionals from other states to move to Alaska and use their talents here. Fortunately, a new proposal to establish a system of universal temporary licensure is being considered in the Legislature and, if it passes, could go a long way toward overcoming these challenges.