Recap of the 2023 Juneau Fly-In
More than 20 people from the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce trudged through fresh snow to the Alaska State Capitol to encourage leaders to focus on workforce development, a resilient supply chain, infrastructure projects and resource development.
The two days of meetings and presentations also included a catered reception hosted by the chamber.
Air pollution, carbon sequestration, the worker shortage, public education funding, food security, housing, the dearth of childcare providers in Alaska and more were discussed with state leaders.
Represented through the Chamber on the Juneau Fly-In were Kinross Fort Knox, Usibelli Coal Mine, RESPEC, Mt. McKinley Bank, the Odom Corp., Tower Hill Mines, the Fairbanks Children’s Museum, Golden Heart Utilities, Shannon & Wilson Inc., the Fairbanks Education Association, Shepherd et al., Explore Fairbanks, Doyon Ltd., the Alaska Railroad Corp., GHEMM Co., the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center and more.
“The time spent visiting with legislators, staff and commissioners to educate them on the challenges that our business members are facing was invaluable and we will continue to follow proposed bills and provide input,” said Jeremy Johnson, President and CEO of the Chamber. “On-site visits in the Capitol help to create relationships built on trust and mutual respect which benefit both the Chamber and the member businesses.”
Chamber membership is open to everyone, and any chamber member can attend the Juneau Fly-in. More than half of chamber members have fewer than 50 employees.
The fly-in group broke up into teams led by experienced chamber advocates and met with more than 50 legislators or staff.
Tyson Gallagher, the governor’s chief of staff, hosted the entire group in the governor’s conference room with most of his remarks focused on resource development, including the governor’s proposed carbon capture program.
Members of the Fairbanks Chamber delegation also met with commissioners, including John Boyle, who heads the Department of Natural Resources; Jason Brune, who heads the Department of Environmental Conservation; and Heidi Teshner, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
Boyle’s remarks focused largely on the hoped-for carbon offsets program, which he said has the potential to help companies develop forest products.
Brune vowed to fight the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempts to impose new rules that he said would result in higher energy costs for residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
Teshner discussed provisions of the Alaska Reads Act, which creates new programs to support early literacy.
“The Chamber is a membership organization and based on feedback from members we were able to meet our mission, to be the leading voice advocating for community by supporting business prosperity in the Interior,” Johnson said.