Governor Dunleavy holds cabinet meeting in Fairbanks

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 4:07 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Thursday, July 15, the Golden Heart City hosted the first full, in-person meeting of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s cabinet since March of last year.

The administration visited Fairbanks this week, and held the meeting at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge.

Dunleavy said, “It’s good for us to get out and really listen to the people we’re serving.”

Governor Dunleavy arrived in Fairbanks the previous day.

During his two-day stay, he and members of his cabinet discussed the post-pandemic economic situation with Fairbanks businesses and leaders. “We’re going to be engaging with Alaskans, Alaskan entities, [and] Alaskan businesses. We’ve been having discussions with the university. We’ve had meetings with the mayors.”

The governor encouraged his administration to reach out to its constituents. “You’ve got to get out and talk to the people who are actually struggling at a time where on the surface it may seem like they would be doing well, and some are, but they’re also struggling to try and keep their businesses viable for the future.”

Like much of Alaska and the U.S., Fairbanks faces a worker shortage. “There’s a limited number of workers that are being stretched thin,” the governor said, adding, “There’s a lot of people ‘unemployed’, but there’s a lot of jobs that are going unfilled.”

According to Dunleavy, the worker shortage is causing strain on the tourism industry. “What you have are these wild contradictions of a lot of people that want to go to a particular business, but there’s not necessarily enough workers or the hours are limited because of employment issues, or constraints on supplies to that particular business.”

The governor wants feedback from communities “as opposed to just assum[ing] that the pandemic is kind of over for us in state government, so therefore we’re all going to get back to the way it was. I think [that] misses a huge opportunity. It also misses a huge new world that we don’t want to make the mistake of thinking it’s the same as the old world before the pandemic.”

Dunleavy’s administration also met with the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and Tanana Chiefs Conference.

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