Fred Villa earns vocational training award

Associate Vice President for Workforce Programs Fred Villa was recently honored with a statewide award recognizing his tireless and heartfelt efforts to advance career and technical education in Alaska. Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter presented him with the David G. Stone Postsecondary Career and Technical Education Administrator of the Year Award during the Alaska Workforce Investment Board meeting in February.

“Fred has been a shining example of leadership, advocating for career and technical education in every role in which he serves,” said Cari-Ann Carty, Executive Director for the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium. “He is a key leader in building the University of Alaska’s industry partnerships and creating educational pathways in maritime and health workforce development as well as oil, gas and mining. Fred is a star in guiding Alaskans toward Alaskan jobs and careers.”

Originally from South Dakota, Villa began his career at the North Pole Refinery. He was instrumental identifying industry standards for process operators that became the basis for the curriculum for the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ associate of applied science degree program in process technology. He was a founder of, and continues to serve in leadership roles for, the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, which helps develop well-trained and qualified Alaskans to meet industry workforce needs.

In his role at the University of Alaska Statewide Workforce Programs, Villa oversees the university’s career and technical education programs and collaboration with workforce industry partners. He serves on multiple boards and committees that guide strategic planning for Alaska’s career and technical education. Villa led the implementation of “Career Coach,” an online tool for students that explores career and higher education opportunities. The tool also includes job postings, workforce training and educational opportunities and information about Alaska’s labor market and wage data. Villa retires from the university on April 29.