Iḷisaġvik College Vocational Trade Program

Vocational Trades

Associated Construction Trades

The Associated Construction Trades (ACT) program offers training in Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Scaffolding, Insulation, Pipefitting, and Welding. The certificates offered within the ACT program are designed to prepare students to enter the work force with a minimal set of skills or to upgrade their current skill level for employment.

Iḷisaġvik College uses the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curricula, which are nationally, recognized for craft training and provide a National Registry which provides transcripts, certifications and wallet cards to students who successfully complete all required course work.

Check the current year schedule to find out which classes are being offered in the Spring and Fall semesters for that year.

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

You must pass a drug test and ACCUPLACER math test to be accepted into these programs.

Students must be in good physical condition. Students should be able to tolerate confined spaces and heights. Students are expected to be able to read and understand task descriptions, safety manuals, and safety and warning signs. Students must also be able to give and receive oral safety warnings, instructions, and task assignments.

Students registering for the complete program have priority enrollment. Students are urged to apply as early as possible for this program. Enrollment is limited and the training is in heavy demand. Students who are put on the wait list for the semester in which they applied are given preference in the following semester.

Program Outcomes

In addition to apprentice and related learning courses, these programs are designed to assist the student in realizing the following outcomes:

  • Apply critical thinking skills to investigate, interpret and communicate issues involving the trade, the community, and the home.
  • Participate in coordinating projects and supervise others.
  • Work with a team unit in a direction that aligns with stated vision, mission and values.
  • Work within the legal, regulatory and code parameters of the trade/community.
  • Seek out and engage in learning opportunities that broaden perspective, deepen understanding and increase personal fulfillment throughout life.
  • Integrate Iñupiaq knowledge, values and culture into business practice.

Fast Track Training

In an effort to better prepare students for the work place, along with the drug testing, some of these classes will be six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This will not only give students an idea of what their work day will be like, but also allow students to complete the training in three to six weeks depending on the craft training they are taking.


Dave Elbert

Assistant Professor, Vocational/Technical Trades (Electrical)
NCCER Master Instructor, 2003; NSTC Instructor, A.A. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1999; Electrical Contractor License, State of Alaska, 1988; Electrical Administrator License, State of Alaska, 1986; Journeyman License, States of Alaska, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, 1981.

Dave is a lifelong Alaskan who has spent most of his working career in the electrical industry.  He has been teaching the Electrical Trades Program and related construction classes at Ilisagvik since 1997, and truly enjoys instructing in the community college setting.  Dave is licensed as a Journeyman electrician, master electrician, and NCCER master instructor.  Married with five children, four of whom graduated from Barrow High school, he and his wife continue to enjoy life in the Barrow community and the joys and challenges of teaching and providing career advancement for students. One of his favorite quotes is: “Happiness in life is the result of the choices we make.  If we are not happy, make better choices!” Education can be one of those choices.

Phone: 907.852.1781 dave.elbert@ilisagvik.edu


Larry Wilbourn

Instructor, Vocational Education / Commercial Driver’s License / Heavy Truck and Equipment
Class A/CDL with Air Brake, Tanker, Double/Triple, Combination, Hazardous Materials, Passenger and School Bus Endorsements; Graduate of West Coast Training/Heavy Equipment, 2005; Department of Motor Vehicles Certified Third Party Examiner #67 (9/98); State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Certified School Bus Driver Training Instructor #170 (6/98). State of Alaska Driving Instructor #LW4153. State of Alaska Motor Vehicle Road Skills Examiner #LW4153.

Phone: 907.852.1774 larry.wilbourn@ilisagvik.edu


Gary Boen

Assistant Professor,  Vocational Technical Trades/ Foundational Math
NCCER Instructor 2008,  M.Ed. Mathematics. University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau, AK., 2013.  B.A. Education, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID., 1992.

Gary has been teaching for 23 years.  He taught NCCER and Construction Math at the Kiita Learning Community for seven years.  During his tenure at Kiita, he integrated place based educational projects such as teaching students how to make dog houses, freight sleds, drums and various other wood working projects through his classes.   Gary understands that students are motivated to learn when the lessons can be easily applied to real life situations.  Therefore, he strives to make learning relevant for the workforce.  Because he believes that math and carpentry complement each other well, he is able to seamlessly tie math concepts into carpentry projects.

Gary has lived in Barrow 21 years.  He is married, has two children both of whom graduated from BHS, and four grandchildren.  Gary is an accomplished stained glass artist and spends his free time working with glass and wood.  One of Gary’s favorite education quotes is: “If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you.  If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

Phone: 907.852.1778 gary.boen@ilisagvik.edu