Mayor Bronson adds new section to hiring criteria for city, to allow applicants to use volunteer and other experience


It’s a move away from the absolute college degree requirement some jobs at the Municipality of Anchorage.

On Tuesday, Mayor Dave Bronson announced that nontraditional work experience will be considered during the hiring process. People can have the skills to do a job, but not have the usually required college degree. Some professions, such as lawyers, certified public accountants, and engineers, still require degrees and certifications, but in many jobs, people can develop skill sets various ways.

“Effective immediately, individuals applying for executive or non-represented positions will be asked a supplemental question about paid or unpaid work experience gained from working with tribes, and/or tribal, cultural, community-based, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, professional, or social organizations,” Bronson said in a statement. Non-represented means non-union.

“This is an important step in creating a more robust and diversified work force at the Muni,” Bronson said. “Recognizing the skills and experience that individuals gain through work in the community will provide greater opportunities for members of underrepresented communities to work for the city.”

The move received approval from the city’s Chief Equity Officer, Uluao “Junior” Aumavae, who noted that Anchorage is one of the most diverse communities in the country.

 “With these strengths working for us, it’s clear the people of Anchorage have a tremendous amount of experience that is waiting to be unleashed. This is a great opportunity for the Municipality to add more value and diversity to our workforce by allowing applicants to share their skills learned through work that might not be viewed as traditional employment,” Aumavae said.

The supplemental question applicants will be asked is:

“Please describe additional, relevant paid or unpaid work experience that demonstrates your ability to perform the tasks and duties of this position. Examples of such work experience may include volunteer work or other extracurricular work (including in high school or college), as well as paid or unpaid work performed for tribes, and/or tribal, cultural, community-based, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, professional, or social organizations.”

Work on this policy began after the administration received community feedback during the 2021 city-wide listening tour conducted by Aumavae and the Office of Equity and Justice. The Office of Equity and Justice, Human Resources Department, and Municipal Attorney’s Office all worked together to bring forward this final product. All candidates must still meet the minimum qualifications for each position. This policy applies only to non-represented and executive positions.

A sample application with the newly added supplemental question is at this link.


  1. Overdue.

    Most college degrees these days are pointless and show little bearing on a person’s ability to do a job.

    • Agree, for the most part, it demonstrates the ability of the students to memorize facts or policies and/or beliefs being told to them and parrot them back to their professors.

    • Would you go to a knee surgeon or dentist who went didn’t possess degrees from accredited universities?

      • Dirt, i think the key statement is “Most” degrees are pointless. For example, how does a degree in, let’s say, Asian studies going to get someone a job in industry? or Arctic and Northern studies? the list of useless degrees are long. The university systems today are not focusing on degrees that will carry the student beyond their academic careers, but rather they are focusing their efforts on degrees that truly have no place in the market. Then they (the WOKE students) wonder why they can’t obtain employment after the university and pay off the enormous debt they have incurred obtaining their useless degrees.

  2. A big step towards progress. We love to ask, retroactively, how so many of our institutions have such a large liberal swing. Often times, look no further than degree requirements. How is it that our Military/Police seem to have so many Republicans but the leadership is so woke. Look no further than degree requirements. How did the FBI/CIA turn woke? Look no further than degree requirements.

    This has been a sleeper issue for Republicans for too long.

    • That folks are broadening their knowledge base at ‘our institutions’ is pretty much the very definition of libralism. So not really surprising, nor that the mayor is trying to equate tested knowledge in the field (skill specific education) with volunteering (helping others) is not surprising as well.

  3. Hmmmm anchorage. The strictest requirements for public librarian, the loosest requirements for superintendent of schools.

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