Gov. Walker's budget cuts funds for construction training

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KENAI, Alaska (AP) - A state program that offers free training to high school students and adults looking to enter the construction industry could see a sharp decline in funding next year if the Legislature approves Gov. Bill Walker's proposed budget cuts.

The Peninsula Clarion reports that Alaska Construction Academies would lose $600,000 in funding under Walker's fiscal year 2018 budget, which was released last month. That would leave the Department of Labor and Workforce Development program with only about $1.2 million to operate in various parts of the state.

Kathleen Castle with the Construction Education Foundation says the proposed cuts aren't meant to eliminate the academies, but to encourage coordinators to look elsewhere for funding.

The training academies are in Anchorage, Juneau, Ketchikan, Fairbanks, the Mat-Su Valley and on the Kenai Peninsula.

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