EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AT PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND AQUACULTURE CORPORATION

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Full-time opportunities

The town of Cordova is a small, picturesque, and semi-remote commercial fishing community. Home to about 2,500 people in the winter, Cordova doubles in population 5,000 in the summer. Only accessible by boat or plane, Cordova is pristine, safe, and boasts abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. The headquarter office in Cordova contains the following departments: Finance, Human Resources, Operations, and Sales.

Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) employs 45 people full-time. The majority of PWSAC’s employees live on-site to operate the four remote hatcheries in Prince William Sound year-round. Our non-remote, Gulkana Hatchery, in interior Alaska, operates seven months per year with a small on-site staff. The headquarter office in Cordova employs eight staff.

Our hiring practices emphasize training and promoting from within the organization, however PWSAC also recruits talented staff from the “Lower 48” that are interested in pursuing a career path in fishery science in the second largest aquaculture in the world.

PWSAC offers its full-time employees a generous benefits package that includes annual leave, medical insurance, life insurance, and a self-funded 403(b) retirement package. Hatchery employees receive paid housing and utilities.

Many of the full-time staff started out as temporary summer positions as Fisheries Technicians. PWSAC offers strong advancement opportunities in several specialties, including: Fish Culturist, Assistant Hatchery Manager, Hatchery Manager, Maintenance Assistant, and Maintenance Supervisor.

Seasonal Employment Opportunities

PWSAC hires about 75 temporary employees to work at five salmon hatcheries during peak periods of the year. Duties include general hatchery operations such as loading and unloading adult fish from vessels, feeding fish, tagging, taking and fertilizing eggs, routine care of incubating eggs, cleanup details, and maintenance. Most of the work is “hands-on”, strenuous, and accomplished outdoors in a cool, wet environment. Temporary positions range from four weeks to ten months.
A large percentage of employees are re-hired to fill available positions.

We begin the seasonal hiring process each December. All applications are carefully reviewed and a selection of candidates is based on, but not limited to, previous hatchery experience, and college education in fisheries, biology or related studies. Although these criteria are preferred, they are not a requirement. For more information on employment opportunities at PWSAC, email us at: pwsac@ak.net.

Summer: (June, July, early August) About 30 employees who were hired in the spring will remain on-site during the summer.  Usually we have short term openings, four to six weeks, during this period.  During the summer, most of the hatcheries are conducting “cost recovery” and “brood stock collection”.  Cost recovery is simply the catching and selling of fish which is how our program funds itself.   Male and female brood stock are collected to obtain eggs and sperm for fertilization.Late Summer: (late August to mid September) “Egg-take” begins in early July for chum salmon but the largest egg-take starts around the third week of August for pink salmon.  This requires approximately 40 employees and is when we do most of our hiring.  Egg-take is completed at the end of September.  If you are hired for this period, you must be able to stay through that date.

Fall: (mid-September to mid November) About 32 employees are selected to stay for fall clean-up.  At this time, the hatcheries are cleaned up and prepared for the winter months.  By November, the staff is reduced to about 12 employees.

Four of our five hatcheries are truly remote; there are no roads, stores, or any other people living nearby.  The sites are modern (it is not a tent camp!), TVs, telephones and Internet are available.  The sites also utilize voice-over-internet and satellite phone communications.  Recreational opportunities include fishing, hiking, boating, etc.  You must bring all personal items with you.  The only special items you are required to bring are heavyweight raingear and rubber boots.  Fish Techs begin at $9.00 per hour, regardless of experience or education.  Room and board is provided.  The point of hire for the  hatcheries is Cordova.  You must provide your own airfare to Cordova, where we will provide a float plane ride to the hatcheries on the Sound, or plane and bus transportation to the Gulkana Hatchery.

In addition to Fish Techs, we also hire cooks and people with maintenance skills.  Be sure to note your experience on the application for employment if you are interested.
If you will be coming to Alaska to look for work, be sure to call once you get here.  We may have last minute hires or cancellations that need to be filled.  Due to the large numbers of applications and resumes received, not everyone will be contacted.  There is no deadline date to apply.

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