Juneau Economic Development Council NEWS  |  July 3, 2015
Visitor Products Cluster Group wins big gains for Southeast

The Outreach and Engagement Initiative of JEDC's Visitor Products Cluster Working Group has had tremendous impact in Washington, DC thanks to advocacy efforts spearheaded by initiative Champion, Laurie Cooper and JEDC Program Officer, Eva Bornstein. Last week, due to the combined strength of our advocacy and Senator Murkowski's leadership, the Senate Appropriations Committee included language in an Interior Appropriations bill which passed out of Committee specifically asking the Forest Service to address the declines in Tongass National Forest funding over the years.


"In recent years the Alaska Region has seen its recreation, trails and facilities funding shrink at a disproportionately higher rate when compared to other regions. The Committee urges the Forest Service to prioritize funding for recreation, trails and facilities in the Tongass National Forest and to bring investments in Region 10 more in-line with funding nationwide. This can be accomplished by returning to using regional priorities to allocate funds rather than models that use inputs that favor certain regions over others."


Although the Forest Service is not required to follow the guidance, this is a very strong and important step forward. The Juneau Empire featured the Tongass recreation funding issue and the advocacy letter, signed by about 50 tourism/recreation businesses and supporting organizations and sent to Senator Murkowski, in an article which is linked here: A slightly different version of the article was picked up by the Associated Press and received statewide and national coverage in close to a dozen papers nationwide including the Alaska Journal of Commerce, KTVA Anchorage, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Houston Chronicle, and the Fairfield Citizen among others.

JEDC to bring AmeriCorps volunteers back to Juneau

The JEDC STAR (Service to Achieve Results) AmeriCorps Program has been awarded a grant to place AmeriCorps Service Members with year-long positions in non-profit organizations in Juneau. The JEDC is a sub-grantee of the Serve Alaska program, an AmeriCorps State and National service program that uses national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment across the state. The STAR program hopes to fill a service gap left by the closing of SAGA and the end of their AmeriCorps Connections program.  

Recruitment for positions will begin once the final contract is complete in mid-July. If you are interested in being a host-site for an Americorps Service Members please contact Margaret O'Neal at If you have any leads on housing options or other community connections to support Americorps Members in Juneau, please contact Rebecca Soza at
UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield joins JEDC Board

JEDC is excited to welcome Chancellor Caulfield to our board! Dr. Caulfield was recently appointed as the new Chancellor at UAS, replacing John Pugh, who recently retired after serving as Chancellor for 16 years. Caulfield has degrees in Political Science and Natural Resources from Berkeley, a Master's degree in Education for UAF, and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia. We look forward to his contributions as part of the JEDC team! 

Adelie McMillan and Maya Ross launch an egg to test the strength and accuracy of their catapult at Girls Rock Science camp.

STEM in the Summer 

From plankton tows and shark dissections to DIY night lights and catapults, our campers are having a blast learning new things! We kicked off summer with the NOAA Sun to Sea Camp where students worked alongside professional scientists from NOAA and the National Weather Service. That was followed up with Girls Rock Science where the girls learned soldering basics by making circuit board jewelry and mason jar lanterns and worked through the engineering design process with an egg drop competition (egg safety) and catapults (egg destruction). 

There's still time to get in on the action! There are just a few spots left in the afternoon WeDo Robotics camp for grades 2-3 on July 27-30. Click here to register!
Trove Wins 2015 Storefront Stars Award!

Mayor Merrill Sanford, Trove Owner Mike Tripp and JEDC Board Member Tony Yorba
The Storefront Star award goes to a downtown property improvement project that not only improves the appearance of downtown streets but also improves access and pedestrian safety. This year's winner, Trove, ticked off all the Storefront Star boxes, said the JEDC judges. Mike Tripp, Trove owner, summarized his storefront improvements by noting that TROVE had outgrown its previous location and decided to move to the Tram Plaza, but the Plaza needed a major overhaul. "We took the opportunity to not only renovate the entire structure but to build a special and unique storefront for new Trove. We created a glass wall that expands out of the existing building facade with 8 foot doors that when opened, virtually disappear. Since Trove is a year round business we designed the storefront to allow in the maximum amount winter light possible.

Click here to read more about the improvements at Trove on the JEDC Facebook Page. 
LegoManiacs earn "fourpeat" victory at the Corporate Challenge

On Friday, June 19, four adult teams faced off with LEGO Robots in a competition that's normally reserved for kids ages 9-14. This off-season fundraiser for the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) program challenges adults to take on the robotics missions that FLL teams around the world attempt during the fall. Resource Data, Inc, Integrity Real Estate Inspections LLC, Enterprise Technology Services, and The LegoManaics all fielded teams this year. More than a fundraiser, this event is designed to introduce adults to the "sport." Rebecca Soza, JEDC's STEM Manager who coordinates the program, explains, "It's easier to recruit and train basketball coaches because so many of us grew up playing. We've been to practices and we've experienced games. I'm yet to find a parent that was on a FIRST LEGO League team growing up. This gives folks some first-hand experience before diving into volunteering." 

Click here to learn more about coaching a FIRST LEGO League team. 
Juneau Public Library Selected to Host Discover Tech Exhibit

The Juneau Public Library has been selected as one of 8 sites in the country to host an interactive science- and technology-focused traveling exhibitions, bringing learning about technology to audiences of all ages. 
Discover Tech will help audiences understand the nature of 21st-century technology and engineering - both high- and low-tech - and their potential for helping to solve many of the world's problems. Through interactive displays, the exhibition will illustrate that engineers are real people who, through a creative and collaborative design process, arrive at practical solutions to help make our world a better place. JPL plans to partner with local organizations to plan community STEM events while the exhibition is in Juneau. 

Click here to read the full announcement by the American Library Association. 
Featured Economic Indicator: Business Visitor Survey

The Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC) partnered with the Alaska Committee to conduct a survey of visitors traveling to Juneau on business during the 2015 legislative session. The purpose of the survey was to measure visitor satisfaction, with a goal to determine how to better serve legislative and business visitors to Juneau. The 2015 survey followed up on similar surveys administered in 2013 and 2009. 


In 2015, 19 visit aspects were evaluated. The results, shown in the chart below, are ranked from highest satisfaction measure to lowest. Walkability of Downtown received the highest satisfaction score, based on the percent of respondents who scored this aspect as very satisfactory or satisfactory. Friendly and Efficient Service scored in second place and Overall Juneau Experience ranked third. These three scored at or above the 90th percentile in satisfaction measure. Airport Facilities, Cleanliness of Downtown and Look and Feel of Downtown scored at or above the 80th percentile. At the low end of the ratings were Accommodations - value for money, Shopping, Airport Concessions and Downtown Parking


Watch for the full report to be available on the JEDC website in late July.



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Executive Director
Juneau Economic Development Council

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Board of Directors
Lauren MacVay, Chair
Kurt Fredriksson, Vice Chair
Tony Yorba, Treasurer
Mitch Jackson, Secretary
Corey Baxter
Rick Caulfield
Alec Mesdag
Sydney Mitchell
Susan Murray
Brandon Cullum
Mayor Merrill Sanford
Loren Jones, Mayor's Designee
Kate Troll, Assembly Liaison
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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