KPEDD Executive Director Tim Dillon sits in his office on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 north of Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

KPEDD Executive Director Tim Dillon sits in his office on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 north of Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Industry outlook forum kicks off next week

The annual forum is put on by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District’s 2022 Industry Outlook Forum is next week. The annual event will bring together economic leaders from around the peninsula and across Alaska to offer a look at what awaits the economy in 2022.

The forum will be held at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center from 8:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6. Attendees can register for the event on KPEDD’s website at kpedd.org. Those interested in participating virtually can do so via KPEDD’s YouTube channel.

Among those scheduled to present during the all-day event are Alaska Association of Realtors Dale Bagley, Alaska Travel Industry Association CEO Sarah Leonard and Executive Director of the Southeast Conference Robert Venables. They are in addition to other local leaders, such as Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel, Kenai Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brittany Brown and Kenai Peninsula Borough Land Management Officer Marcus Mueller.

Industries scheduled for discussion include mariculture, manufacturing, fishing, renewable energy, workforce development, gas and oil and land management. A full schedule of events can be found on KPEDD’s website.

The event comes as the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported that Alaska is still recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A report from the department released earlier this month showed that while the number of jobs in Alaska has increased over the last year, numbers have not yet returned to their pre-pandemic levels.

On the Kenai Peninsula, where the unemployment rate has dropped from 7.5% in November 2020 to 6.7% in November 2021, about 500 new jobs were reported last month compared to the same time last year.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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