Paths to sustainability

Published April 2019

Job-seekers find more than one way toward career success at CITC



Robert Shockey’s future changed when he struck up a random conversation with a stranger.

Robert, an Ahtna shareholder, first came to Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) looking for assistance with paying his heating bill. While he waited in the reception area for a caseworker to meet with him, he offered some assistance of his own.

“I happened to be sitting there, helping this woman with her phone, and her niece started talking to me,” Robert recalled.

That woman happened to be Viola Smith, CITC’s job developer. When she heard that Robert was looking for work, she began to tell him about all the ways CITC can remove the roadblocks to finding a job. From helping people enroll in and complete specialized training, to offering gift cards for work clothes, to hosting a bi-annual job fair, CITC’s Employment Services and Training Department is in the business of helping people build their careers.

The right training for the right job

“I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for Viola taking five minutes to talk to me and tell me all about what CITC can offer,” Robert said.

Before finding himself at CITC, Robert had worked for the Municipality of Anchorage as a driver for nearly five years before two knee replacements put him out of commission for three years. When he started looking for work as a driver again, he found that potential employers wanted a more experienced employee.

“There’s such a shortage of drivers right now,” he said. “But you’ve got to have those credentials. I tried to get a job with a class B commercial driver’s license, but employers like Carlile Transportation Systems want you to have class A.”

Robert’s CITC job coach helped him enroll for courses at Northern Industrial Training (NIT), where he earned his class A license. Since he had to drive from Anchorage to Palmer to attend NIT, Robert also received gas cards from CITC.

Today, Robert is working full-time for Carlile. He credits CITC for offering more opportunities than he could have predicted.

“I didn’t know the amount of things CITC offered,” he said. “It’s like back in the day, you would go to the gas station, and you just got gas. Nowadays, though, you can do all your shopping at the gas station. That’s CITC — it’s like a one-stop shop for everything you need.”

To learn more about what CITC has to offer Ahtna shareholders and family living in the Anchorage area, please visit

Did you know?

Shareholder Development can help you with the process at CITC if you live in the Anchorage Bowl Area. Shareholder Development works with several different apprenticeship and training organizations, which can be good ways to get started in these fields. Many offer free, or even paid, training. The department’s primary goal is to maximize shareholder potential by educating, developing and engaging shareholders as they pursue meaningful career and life goals. The Shareholder Development support services include: career counseling and development, including resume and interview preparation; identifying and providing funding for higher education; identifying training opportunities;and connecting shareholders with gainful employment.

For more information on how Ahtna’s Shareholder Development department can help you, please contact Tracy at (907) 868-8221 or