Sam Nothstine is an expediter at Kwik’pak Fisheries in Emmonak, a western Alaska village at the mouth of the Yukon River. His job involves seafood quality control, shipping, administration, safety and other aspects of the business. Nothstine stays busy in the winter working at an outdoor gear store in Anchorage.
Originally from Emmonak, Nothstine loves working seasonally in the region and wants to improve his employment prospects. For this reason, Nothstine enrolled in the Alaska Seafood Leadership Institute, a two-week training program for mid-level seafood processing managers.
The institute, known as ASPLI, is organized by Alaska Sea Grant and is funded with registration fees paid by participating companies, and financial support from the University of Alaska Technical Vocational Education Program and Alaska Sea Grant. The program offers 80 hours of intensive professional development for seafood production managers, quality control supervisors, seafood engineers, human resources professionals and others in the industry.
“I started off with Kwik’pak Fisheries as a driver. After ASPLI, I moved to the shipping department and then started taking on administrative, quality control and safety duties,” said Nothstine.
“Now I do a lot of delegating,” he said.
The institute offers technical training, leadership and management skills needed to succeed in the seafood industry. Over 70 people from more than 20 companies have graduated from ASPLI since the institute’s inception in 2006.