Juneau Economic Development Council NEWS  |  January 2016
JEDC Welcomes Two New Board Members 
Juneau Economic Development Council announces the appointment of three members of its Board of Directors for three-year terms, as well as the Officers for 2016.  
  • Jason Puckett, is the Retail Store Manager for GCI in Juneau and is a small business owner. He owns JCP Confections in downtown Juneau. He has an interest in assisting small business overcome hurdles during the startup phase.  Jason is a Marine Corps veteran and is married with three children. 
  • Keith Comstock, owner of Juneau Hydropower, is an entrepreneur and technologist. He has served on regional and national corporate and non-profit boards. He has held management positions and consulting roles with several regional firms.
  • Alec Mesdag, Director of Energy Services at AEL&P, was re-appointed to serve a three year term on the JEDC Board. 
Board Officers were elected at JEDC's Annual Meeting earlier this month:
  • Chair:  Lauren MacVay, CEO of TrueNorth Federal Credit Union
  • Vice-Chair:  Rick Caulfield, Chancellor, University of Alaska Southeast
  • Secretary:  Susan Murray, Deputy Vice-President, US Pacific Oceania
  • Treasurer:  Mitch Jackson, Commercial Sales and Leasing, Carlton Smith Company
Innovation Summit 2016 Announces Karen Pittman as Third Keynote
We're happy to announce that Karen Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, and respected sociologist and leader in youth development, will be a keynote speaker at our Innovation Summit on February 8-9! What is the ROI on investing in our youth? To register go to

The conference is designed by the Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC) with key support from Haa Aani , Sealaska , Juneau Hydropower , Alaska Airlines , University of Alaska Southeast, Icelandair,  U.S. Forest Service , GCI, Alaska Division of Economic Development, Alaska Communications , Avista , Wells Fargo , AK Litho , The Nature Conservancy , Alaska Growth Capital , Coastal Helicopters,   The Prospector and many partnering individuals and organizations including TK Maguire's, Southeast Conference, True North Federal Credit Union and AEL&P.  

For more information, please visit 
Innovation Summit Sponsorship Opportunities Available
Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Please click HERE for more information or contact Dana Herndon at or 907-523-2324.
FIRST LEGO League Alaska Robot Rendezvous a Huge Success!
FIRST LEGO League held its Alaska Robot Rendezvous in Anchorage, bringing together 57 teams from 21 communities around Alaska. JEDC thanks all the kids, coaches, volunteers, and sponsors that made this event possible.  

This year brought together more teams from rural Alaska than ever before!  Juneau's  Juneau Community Charter School team was a top finisher in this year's statewide competition. 

Special thanks to Senator Lisa Murkowski for taking the time to give every one of the competitors a high five at the closing ceremony.  

FIRST  LEGO League is a program facilitated by the JEDC that develops robotic competitions for fourth through eighth graders around the entire state of Alaska. Visit the FLL website for more info.  
Juneau School District Wants to Hear From You--STEM Education

Do you have an interest in how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are taught in the Juneau School District? Do you or your organization have resources or expertise to share? JSD is looking for feedback as part of the science curriculum renewal and general interest in better leveraging community resources to better prepare our K-12 students. 
Please take a few moments to fill out the survey HERE and be part of this exciting process!
CBJ, JEDC and Alaska DOL Address Public Concerns About Walmart Closing

On Friday, January 15, 2016 Walmart gave official notice that it will be closing its Juneau store among 269 stores in the United States and worldwide. The Juneau store will be shuttered on February 4th. Walmart employees that stay until their last scheduled day can expect to be paid an additional 60 days, as stated by Walmart.
There are 168 employees affected by this closure.  Walmart employees may be offered the opportunity to work at another Walmart store, if they are willing to transfer out of Juneau. Of the jobs being eliminated some are full-time, the remainder part time. 

Mayor Becker stated that "we anticipate that there will be impacts on service providers to Walmart, such marketing businesses, energy use and other services, but we are unable to quantify fully those impacts." 168 employees represent less than 10% of Juneau's employment in the retail sector (1,900 jobs) and less than 1% of total employment in our community (18,000 jobs). JEDC Executive Director Brian Holst stated "while it is unfortunate to see any service provider leave our market, Juneau currently enjoys a low unemployment rate and we are optimistic that most Walmart employees will find other opportunities within our community, and consumers will still have other good options to meet most of their shopping needs that were previously met by Walmart." 
While the Walmart closing will have an impact on Juneau consumers by reducing merchandise shopping options in town, the impact on sales tax revenue to CBJ is driven by what amount of sales transfer to other local retailers versus going away.  CBJ is working to estimate the sales tax impact, if any.   The Walmart store is owned by the Walmart Real Estate Trust, which is the 9th largest property tax payer in the CBJ. According to Bob Bartholomew, CBJ Finance Director, no impact on property taxes is expected in the current year or FY17. Walmart's plan for the building is not known at this time and future use of the property could impact property value in the future.  

To read the full press release please visit
Career Fair Volunteers Needed

The Floyd Dryden Middle School Career Fair will be held on February 1st from 8:00AM - 12:00PM. 

Presenters will plan and lead activities, which will engage kids in learning about their career - assistance can be provided.
Participants will give 25-minute presentations to groups of approximately 10 students. There will be a total of 6 rotations throughout the morning and we are looking for a wide range of career options to present to the students. Light snacks and coffee will be provided.
Please contact Courtney Weiss is you are interested. 
Featured Economic Indicator: 
Juneau Housing Market Robust in 2015 due to Insufficient Inventory to Satisfy Demand

Juneau single family housing prices reached record levels again in 2015 due to continued demand that exceeded supply. The median price of a single family detached home rose to $385,000, an increase of 5 percent over 2014. Along with the increase in price, the median days on market decreased slightly from the prior year to 23 days. The median price of a single family attached home also increased by 5 percent to $279,500, and the median days on market declined to a low of 12 days, an indication of the great unmet demand for this type of housing.

A bright spot in the tight Juneau real estate market were two new condo units that opened for sales in 2015, the North Star Condos in the Valley and the Cannery Cove Condos in Auke Bay. The North Star Condos will add a total of 36 units to Juneau's real estate stock when the project is completed.  Each unit had an asking price of $199,900 and sold quickly. The final building will be completed in late spring of 2016.  The Cannery Cove Condos have 13 units, and all had asking prices between $550,000 and $675,000.  The project has sold out.
Note: Sales volume, prices and days on market are provided by the Juneau Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Numbers in the charts reflect only the transactions reported on the Juneau MLS. Private home sales are not reported on the MLS, and realtor reports are voluntary. Therefore, from year to year, the MLS transactions represent about 9 out of 10 sales in Juneau.

Thank you GCI! 
GCI is Alaska's largest integrated telecommunications provider and serves more than 200 communities statewide. Since 1979, GCI has invested more than $3 billion to bring the latest telecommunication technologies to connect Alaskans to each other and to the rest of the world.  GCI is committed to delivering service to all Alaskans from the Aleutians to the Arctic, from the North Slope the Southeast, and everywhere in between.  With more than 2,200 Alaska employees, GCI is one of the largest private employers in the state and is dedicated to providing the innovation and technology necessary to grow Alaska's economy, support industry and jobs, provide education and healthcare, and maintain the quality of life that all Alaskans enjoy. 
To learn more about GCI's products including wireless, voice, data and video services, visit .

Learn more about supporting the work of JEDC and consider an Investment in Juneau.
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Executive Director
Juneau Economic Development Council

In This Issue
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Board of Directors
Lauren MacVay, Chair
Chancellor Rick Caulfield, Vice Chair
Mitch Jackson, Treasurer
Susan Murray, Secretary
Mayor Mary Becker
Corey Baxter
Alec Mesdag
Sydney Mitchell
Susan Murray
Brandon Cullum
Jason Puckett
Keith Comstock
Loren Jones, CBJ Assembly
Kate Troll, CBJ Assembly
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MRV Architects
Sheinberg Associates
Alaska Miners Association
Alaska Mobility Commission
Commonwealth North
Central Council of Tlingit & Haida 
Indian Tribes of Alaska
Goldbelt Mt. Roberts Tram
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council
Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sitka Chamber of Commerce
Southeast Conference