The Red Dog Mine - Building Capacity for Inupiat Participation in the Workforce
Teck Cominco is committed to working with local indigenous people to maximize their participation in mining and related socioeconomic opportunities. The Red Dog mine has established employment and training initiatives that support the growth and development of a local Inupiat workforce, contributing to the overall economic aspirations of people in the region.
The Red Dog mine, the largest zinc mine in the world, is located in Alaska approximately 140 km north of the Arctic Circle. Approximately 7,300 Inupiat people maintain their traditional subsistence lifestyle in this sparsely populated area. The mine is operated through an agreement between Teck Cominco and the NANA Regional Corporation.
Training and scholarship programs have been initiated to attract young indigenous students to the mining sector. Each year, the operation runs a School to Work program for students from each of the surrounding villages who fly to the remote mine site for several days throughout the academic year. Teck Cominco also provides college and university scholarships to build professional and technical competencies required by the mine.
In both technical and professional jobs, turnover has sometimes exceeded 30% and training investments are not returned to the operation. The operation is revising its programs to provide greater and lasting benefits. Both Teck Cominco and NANA remain committed to the continuous improvement of hiring, training and education programs. Currently, NANA shareholders comprise approximately 56% of the workforce.