Well breakup hit the Kenai with a vengeance in the past week, with icy roads seemingly disappearing overnight and the rivers opening up to accept this year’s runs of salmon. All the salmon except those that go to support Peninsula fishing families that is - most of those wind up processed and shipped to markets nationwide. And it’s the jobs inside those seafood processing plants — very few are actually canneries any more — that we look at on this week’s Econ 91-9 feature. At the recent Job and Career Fair presented by the Alaska Job Service Center two local seafood plants had recruiters present, speaking with the hundreds of job-seekers attending.
The State of Alaska Job Center web page has an entire section on seafood processing jobs, of which it says there are more than 20,000 each year, not counting fishermen. It also advises that most companies look for seafood employees who enjoy, quote, “Working with others in remote, adventurous locations under invigorating conditions, while wearing rain gear and rubber boots.”
Our number this week is 50. Fifty is the number of overflow parking spots the city of Kenai’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved for the new owners of the old Kambe Theater. Why do they need 50 more parking spots? Expansion. Maybe double the screens and a tie-in to the Fun-Center going in next door. Watch this space for coming attractions in the near future.