NANA News & Press

NANA Partners with Technical Center to Train Driller Helpers

As companies prepare to begin core drilling near Red Dog Mine this spring, 16 northwest Alaska residents were trained in the basics of assisting drillers, in hopes of becoming employed. The Core Driller’s Helper Training program is a collaborative effort between NANA Development Corporation’s subsidiary, Tuuq Drilling, LLC, subcontractor Ruen Drilling, Incorporated, and the Alaska Technical Center in Kotzebue. The 40-hour course includes a combination of classroom instruction and hands on learning.

Although no jobs are guaranteed, Thom Schmidt, health, safety and environmental director for Ruen Drilling, said training events like these are a great opportunity to scout out local talent, as the company gets ready to drill at the nearby Red Dog Mine, one of the largest producers of zinc in the world. “Some of the guys, even ones who have never worked in mining before, really showed an aptitude for the work,” said Schmidt.

Tuuq Drilling General Manager Mike Baker said up to 20 entry-level workers are needed to help, as NANA looks for more core deposits at Red Dog and possibly at Bornite in the Ambler Mining District 200 miles away. “Tuuq doesn’t have people trained on the drills. In our partnership with Ruen, we have similar goals, like getting the work and making a profit. But we also have a goal of helping NANA shareholders learn to drill and eventually have a company run completely by the shareholders,” said Baker.

The training ended March 30, with an additional 16 hours of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) training. A critical component of training for anyone wishing to work in the mining industry.

Tuuq Drilling is planning another round of Core Driller’s Helper Training near the end of April to prepare for up to twelve additional positions.

Akima Moves to New Colorado Springs Office

The reception area in Akima’s new Colorado Springs office reflects an Alaska theme and offices have a view of Pikes Peak.

More than 30 Akima employees in Colorado Springs have recently been relocated to a new office building; located just five miles from the previous office and directly across the street from the U.S. Air Force Academy. According to Lori Kuzara, senior director, capture management services for Akima, LLC, “The new space is beautiful and its open floor plan promotes good communication and team morale. Great location, close to the airports, and you can’t beat the view of Pikes Peak!”

Employees from Akima, LLC, Five Rivers Services, Wolverine Services, and Akima Technical Solutions share the new 12,690 square feet of office space on the third floor of the five-story building. “Lockheed Martin is the largest tenant, with the top one-and-a-half floors, and NANA subsidiary, WHPacific, will soon occupy the first floor,” according to Colin Schmeisser, president of Akima, LLC Engineering and Technical Services Group. “It was an empty shell, so we were able to design our offices from scratch. Kelly Ross, from the Akima Charlotte office, came out to Colorado and did a superb job of managing the move and office preparation.”

Akima Construction Services Completes New Buildings for U.S. Department of Energy

Opening the Savannah River Site’s new engineering building are (from left): Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Senior Vice President for NNSA Operations & Programs, Dennis Donati; NNSA Savannah River Site Office Manager, Doug Dearolph; and Akima Construction Services President, Paul Karmanzinski.

A ribbon-cutting on Feb. 1 at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site opened the door to the first of two new buildings that are scheduled for occupancy this year as part of its modernization program. Akima Construction Services, LLC was responsible for the design, construction, and furnishing of both buildings–the 16,000 square feet engineering building and the 12,000 square feet process support building.

The engineering building is one of the cornerstones of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s long-term plan to modernize and consolidate the Savannah River Site (SRS) tritium facilities as part of its mission to turn a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise.

Addressing the crowd of employees gathered to witness the ribbon-cutting, NNSA Savannah River Site Office Manager Doug Dearolph credited the excellent partnership, teamwork and collaboration among NNSA, SRS management and operating contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, and construction contractor Akima Construction Services for completing the building with zero accidents and on budget.

The new Engineering Building, which will provide office space for nearly 100 engineers, is the first building in the SRS that will meet the guiding principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings. The guiding principles cover integrated design principles, optimized energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and reduced environmental impact of materials.