When a CIRI team member needs computer help, the trouble-shooter who often arrives on scene is CIRI shareholder Bob Crowe. Crowe is the first intern in a new program created by CIRI, Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) and the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC). As part of his paid internship, Crowe builds new computers, fixes computers and provides technical solutions to CIRI and its subsidiaries. He’s the first line of defense for problem calls.
Being the first line of defense is nothing new for Crowe. In his former career, Crowe endured the intense physical training to become a wildland firefighter – a hotshot. As part of the Chena hotshot team, Crowe and his fellow firefighters would be dispatched across the country to help put down raging wildfires.
“I found myself travelling all the time chasing hotspots,” Crowe said. “I was detailed to places like Nevada, Montana, California, all over Alaska and even crossed the border into Canada a few times chasing fire.”
Always with an interest in computers, Crowe learned about the IT internship program through a flier CITC distributed. He called the CITC contact which led to the successful interview process with CIRI.
The program, aimed at helping to achieve CIRI’s corporate goal of enhancing shareholder relevance, identifies interested shareholders and enters them into the 10-month AVTEC Information Technology Program in Seward, Alaska for training. Once the training is completed, participants gain real-world work experience through an internship at CIRI’s corporate office or a CIRI subsidiary.
Crowe’s experience is a little different. Because of the strong work ethic, technological talent good customer service he displayed in the interview process, Crowe was given the summer internship with plans to enter the AVTEC program at the end of August. Meanwhile, a graduate of the AVTEC program is set to become CIRI’s next IT intern in May.
“The idea is to get shareholders excited about IT and the many career opportunities in the industry,” said Keith Ziolkowski, the IT director at CIRI. “After the AVTEC training and the internship at CIRI, these shareholders will be prepared to enter the IT workforce and it will allow CIRI and its subsidiaries the opportunity to hire shareholders who are well-trained and qualified.”