This 2016 report investigates the economic linkages between Southwest Alaska and other Alaska regions. Findings reveal that seafood harvesting and processing operations in Southwest Alaska are an economic engine for the region, a major source of employment and economic output for the state, and a primary economic link with the Alaska road and railbelt region. More broadly, as a region largely defined by its marine resources, Southwest Alaska relies heavily on water-based commerce, employment, and travel.
Not only is Southwest Alaska home to six of the ten largest fisheries in the United States, Dutch Harbor and Kodiak are the second and third largest revenue-generating fisheries nationwide. The revenue generated from these fisheries affects the rest of Alaska on numorous economic levels from travel and tourism to exports and personal income.
Interested in reading more? Download the Full Report: Economic Geography Study
A 2016 revised version of the 2014-2019 Southwest Alaska CEDS document is available for review here. Reviewers are invited to submit any comments concerning the CEDS update to SWAMC's Executive Director, Doug Griffin.
Interested in the full document? Download the full 2014-2019 CEDS report.
August 2012 - When it comes to broadband service, Southwest Alaska is fortunate to be better-connected than many other vast regions of rural Alaska. The northeast portion of Kodiak Island has fiber running from the Kenai Peninsula. Bristol Bay and Lower Kuskokwim villages will soon gain access to a fiber optic-microwave middle mile system that represents the first terrestrial broadband network in this corner of the state. And we will keep our fingers crossed that next generation satellite technology (and spot beam positioning) can provide the Aleutians and Pribilofs with some of the same Anchorage equivalent speeds that other SW Alaska sub-regions will experience. There is still a lot of work remaining to increase broadband access in the entire region, but we're gaining traction each year.
Technology improvements are grand, of course, but how can folks use new system improvements? Can educators and health care providers improve their services? Can governments engage with citizens more effectively? Are first responders provided network tools to react faster? And perhaps most importantly from SWAMC's perspective, can broadband access create new economic development and business opportunities in a knowledge-based economy? Essentially, what do you do with faster internet and improved telecommunications? With assistance from a rural technology group, SWAMC convened several SW Alaska stakeholders in a series of meetings over the summer to address some of these questions. A draft report entitled Regional Applications for a Digital Economy is available for review and we would love feedback from Southwest Alaskans on what possibilities you see for the region with technology improvements. The report contains findings and action recommendations creating more broadband opportunities in Southwest Alaska, but please lend your voice if we are missing some of the issues you feel are important!