More than just a mining operation, Red Dog continues to meet the hopes and expectations of those involved in its genesis. Boasting a NANA shareholder-hire rate of 54 percent, the mine has become an example to indigenous communities around the globe. NANA and Teck Alaska continually strive to maximize the benefits of mining for NANA shareholders. Employment and training play a key role in helping us achieve this goal.
An important provision of the original Red Dog agreement directed first preference for all Red Dog jobs to qualified NANA shareholders. Now, more than half of the 639 workers at Red Dog Mine are NANA shareholders. A joint NANA-Teck committee on employment and training continues to supervise the hiring, training and advancement of NANA shareholders at Red Dog.
Companies with service contracts at Red Dog Mine create additional opportunities in the region, and several of these contracting companies are NANA subsidiaries or joint ventures. For example, NANA/Lynden Transportation and NANA Management Services employ more than 130 people, including 55 full-time and 33 temporary shareholders. In 2007, these two companies filled Red Dog contracts worth $19.5 million, resulting in significant benefits to employees, the NANA region and its shareholders.
The mine’s on-site training programs are geared to ensure ongoing development for employees in every area of operation. In 2007, the mine provided 15,400 hours of training – about ten times the industry standard. Apprenticeships are available in trades such as heavy-duty mechanics, electrical work, millwrighting and power generation. Employees can pursue advanced technical trainingin the geological, metallurgical and environmental fields
NANA and Teck understand local people must have access to education in order to become qualified for jobs at all levels of the Red Dog operation; that's why the companies work in together to support and enhance the educational experience of shareholder and employees.
Teck and NANA sponsor several scholarships for NANA shareholders studying mining engineering, mineral processing engineering, geology or chemical engineering. In exchange, students agree to work with Teck for a period of time equal to the period of sponsorship.
Current employees of Red Dog Mine wishing to return to school are also eligible for these scholarships. Some employees take advantage of the job-share program, which allows people to work for a semester, then attend school for a semester, while maintaining their employment.
Red Dog Mine partners with the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD) in a series of school-to-work programs to help make school a more relevant experience for students by directly connecting their studies to future jobs in resource development.
Middle school students take part in career awareness visits at the mine. These field trips give students the opportunity to see the wide range of jobs and careers available to them.
Interested high school students are encouraged to take part in the three-day job shadowing program. This program pairs each student with an employee, who guides them through the workday, explaining various tasks and equipment related to the job.
The mine also hosts a summer academy for high school seniors. Students stay at the mine for a full week, receiving in-depth lessons on mining, mineral processing and environmental matters.