The Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) was originally created as a post-secondary component of the State of Alaska Department of Education in 1969. Originally called the Alaska Skills Center, it was established in response to emerging demand associated with the 1968 discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay. AVTEC is now a division of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) and the only post-secondary career and technical training center owned and operated by the State of Alaska. As a division of the DOLWD, AVTEC reports directly to the Commissioner of Labor.
Over the past fifty years, AVTEC has consulted industry experts to adapt training programs to the ever-evolving demands of Alaska's industries to ensure the training students receive is both relevant and valued by employers in Alaska.
Located at the headwaters of Resurrection Bay, in Seward, Alaska, AVTEC's campuses stretch across multiple locations in the Seward community. The Applied Technology campus, on Herman Leirer Road and Alameda, is the location of the Diesel and Heavy Equipment, Combination Welding and Industrial Electricity programs. Refrigeration and the Plumbing and Heating programs are located down Alameda and east on Port Avenue, just a few blocks away.
The First Lake campus, on Second Avenue, houses the administrative and business operations offices as well as the Information Technology, Business and Office Technology and Construction Technology. The Alaska Maritime Training Center (AMTC) is located at the First Lake Building and at the AMTC Fire Training Center across the bay in the Seward Marine Industrial Center.
The Student Life campus, on Fourth Avenue, includes the Student Services Center-consisting of the library, auditorium, learning resource center, gymnasium and student lounge and recreation areas; the Culinary Arts program; resident student housing and family apartments and campus food services.
Programs are designed to simulate the workplace. Students train 30-35 hours per week, in the classroom and hands-on training labs, where they learn and demonstrate mastery of industry technical and professional skills. Upon successful completion of training, students earn an AVTEC certificate and in many programs are able to earn industry-valued credentials and licenses. The employment rate for students who complete their training programs is over 90% within a year after completion.