The Alaska Teamster Employer Training Trust was established in 1972 as a Taft-Hartley Trust for the purpose of training Teamsters within the State of Alaska. Revenues for the operation of this Trust were provided by employer contributions. At that time, Alaska Teamsters Local 959 was primarily a construction local and most of the training programs revolved around the construction industry.
After construction of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, emphasis began to turn to a maintenance-based workforce. Additionally, the Teamsters had been successful in organizing workers in many other industries, and training requirements were changing. These new requirements resulted in the formation of the Service Training Trust in 1980, again a Taft-Hartley Trust. Revenues for this trust also were provided by collectively bargained employer contributions. This provided a training vehicle for other industries the Teamsters represented in Alaska.
In 1987, the two training trusts merged into the current organization. This was done primarily to consolidate the administrative functions and to focus more closely on training activities. Also, under this merger the base criteria for students were expanded to allow the training center to train more of its membership base. Under this new trust organization many new programs were developed to fit the needs of an extremely diverse workforce.
Driver training programs have always been offered, however, their emphasis was toward the construction industry. Students were taught to drive in a gravel pit or construction site environment, primarily using hands-on methods of instruction. Some classroom instruction was added later as enforcement of safety standards and environmental regulations began to develop.
With the development of national legislation for commercial driver license requirements, our training facilities developed a commercial driver license (CDL) training program for anyone requiring the license. This program was taught in the classroom and focused on the CDL test. For those students who were not “grandfathered” under the State of Alaska regulations on the driving portion of the test, we offered additional training in the form of check rides and the use of our equipment for the road skills test. In 1991 and 1992, over 1,500 students went through the driver training program.
All students attending the CDL training were those individuals who were in driving occupations and required the new license. As we approached the effective date of the new licensing law, most of those who needed the license had obtained it. It then became obvious that a large section of the students we were training also were in need of training on the tractor-trailer equipment itself.
A review of the industries requiring certified drivers revealed that a shortage of qualified drivers may be imminent in the future. Additional regulations with respect to safety and the environment placed new liabilities with employers on behalf of their employees. We then realized that no longer could an employee go to work for a company in a warehouse and evolve from jockeying rigs around in the yard to street or over the road driving, without obtaining specific training and licensing.
As representatives of workers and providers of a qualified labor force to employers, we felt we had an obligation to place the most highly qualified workers available into the workforce through an effective, intense and meticulous training program. This policy was incorporated in our approach to all of our training programs.
We adopted the Professional Truck Driver Institute of America’s (PTDI) Basic Driver Training program to instruct our members. This was the only driver training program recognized by the Federal Highways Administration. We completed four consecutive classes in which 44 students graduated in 1993. The Training Trust was prohibited from training anyone other than plan participants even though other groups were enthusiastic and willing to pay for high quality training.
In August 1994, the Training Center established the Center for Employment Education (CEE) as a wholly owned subsidiary so that the Basic Driver Training program could be offered to the general public through a tuition-based financing concept. This opened professional training to the needs of the transportation industry in the State of Alaska.
CEE’s basic driving program is nationally certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute. The majority of our driving and hazardous materials programs are approved by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, the Veterans Administration, and the State of Alaska Department of Public Safety. CEE is also a contract agency for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which allows our staff to conduct road skills exams.
CEE’s hazardous materials programs have also been approved by the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, the National Safety Council and the International Air Transportation Association.
Recognized & Certified Training
Center for Employment Education
Copyright (c) 2007 - 2013 Center for Employment Education, 520 E. 34th Avenue, Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99503