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Alaska Dispatch: If the Arctic booms, will Alaska’s workforce be ready?

Sen. Mark Begich said efforts to drill in the U.S. Arctic offshore involving Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and StatOil will require 5,000 people. But that’s a small part of the changes the Arctic is seeing, which include increased shipping and tourism.

Those efforts and others will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, including:

• Carpentry and architecture for new Arctic housing and buildings;

• Food service providers for work camps;

• Scientists to conduct environmental studies.

“It’s not a question of if the Arctic will be developed,” said Begich. “It’s a question of how we manage that development.”