Alaska Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development
|Alaska Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2014 FY Budget:||$6,968,000|
|Length of term:||Serves at pleasure of the governor|
|Authority:||Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 50|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor Sean Parnell|
|Assumed office:||December 19, 2014|
|Other Alaska Executive Offices|
|Governor•Lieutenant Governor•Attorney General•Comptroller•Education Commissioner•Revenue Commissioner•Agriculture Director•Insurance Director•Natural Resources Commissioner•Labor Commissioner•Regulatory Commission|
The current commissioner of labor is Heidi Drygas. She was appointed on December 19, 2014, to replace Dianne Blumer. As the labor commissioner serves at the pleasure of the governor, Drygas does not serve a fixed term.
The authority of the commissioner of labor derives from statute, which states that he or she is the principal executive office of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 31, Section 10
|The principal executive officer of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is the commissioner of labor and workforce development.|
Like all principal executive officers in the Alaska government, the labor commissioner must "furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law," the cost of which is paid by the state. Otherwise, there are no special qualifications for the office of labor commissioner.
Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 50
|The principal executive officer of each department and subordinate officials shall furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law or determined by the governor upon recommendation of the commissioner of administration. The state shall pay the cost of the bond. The attorney general shall approve the form of the bond.|
The labor commissioner, like all Alaska executive department heads, is appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature.
Alaska Statutes, Title 39, Chapter 5, Section 20
|The governor shall appoint the head of each principal executive department in the state government. Each appointment is subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session.|
There are no term limits for the office of labor commissioner. The officeholder serves at the pleasure of the governor.
Alaska law does not fix any particular procedure for dealing with vacancies. It is the governor's responsibility to appoint a new labor commissioner, subject to approval from the legislature.
The commissioner is "responsible for the overall management of the department's programs and resources; serves as liaison with other state, federal, and local government agencies, and the legislature; and acts on unemployment insurance appeals." The commissioner's office also provides administrative support to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Board, which decides appeals of penalties issued by the Labor Department to employers that violate health and safety regulations.
The Department of Labor as a whole has the following duties:
- Enforce the laws and adopt regulations under them concerning employer-employee relationships
- Accumulate, analyze, and report labor statistics
- Operate systems of workers' compensation and unemployment insurance
- Gather data reflecting the cost of living in the various election districts of the state
- Operate the federally funded employment and training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (adult basic education)
The Department of Labor & Workforce Development contains several divisions:
- Office of the Commissioner
- Administrative Services
- Workers' Compensation
- Labor Standards and Safety
- Employment Security
- Business Partnerships
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Alaska Vocational Technical Center
- See also: Alaska state budget and finances
The budget for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Fiscal Year 2014 is $6,968,000.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
The Alaska Commissioner of Labor's salary is bound to a range determined by statute; it must be no less than Range 28 of the Alaska executive branch employee salary schedule nor more than Range 30.
There have been 17 Alaska Commissioners of Labor and Workforce Development since 1959.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1959-Present|
|1||Lewis M. Dischner||1959-1960|
|2||Bjorn "Gil" Johnson||1960-1966|
|3||Thomas J. Moore||1967-1970|
|4||Henry A. Benson||1970-1972|
|5||Robert A. Smith||1972-1974|
|9||Nancy Bear Usera||1991-1992|
|15||David G. Stone||2012|
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PO Box 111149
Juneau, AK 99811
Phone: (907) 465-2700
Fax: (907) 465-2784
- Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "Commissioner's office," accessed December 16, 2013
- Alaska Dispatch News, "Walker announces 3 more top-level appointments," December 19, 2014
- Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.05.030," accessed June 5, 2011
- Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 44.31.010," accessed June 6, 2010
- Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.05.050," accessed June 1, 2011
- Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.05.020," accessed June 1, 2011
- Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development, "Office of the Commissioner," accessed June 6, 2011
- Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 44.31.020," accessed June 6, 2011
- Alaska Office of Management and Budget, "Department of Labor -- FY 2012 Proposed Budget," accessed June 6, 2011
- Alaska Office of Management and Budget, "FY 2014 Operating Budget," May 21, 2013
- Alaska Legal Resource Center, "Alaska Statutes 39.20.080," accessed June1, 2011
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 14, 2014
- Alaska State Library, Historical Collections,Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development List of commissioners and deputy commissioners 1959 – Present," accessed July 27, 2013
State of Alaska
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Comptroller | Commissioner of the Department of Revenue | Commissioner of Education | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development | Regulatory Commission |