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.