ANCHORAGE, AK – Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) hired a record number of youth this summer through the Youth-To-Work (YTW) program. 489 youth, between the ages of 14-19, are gaining real work experience while earning a much-needed paycheck.

The youth are working on various skill-building projects, working at local organizations to assist employees with their daily duties, and helping local elders with various outdoor tasks. 32 adult instructors are providing guidance on net mending, craft-making, and life-building skills. CVRF also has agreements with 54 local organizations for the youth to work with and provide assistance.

CVRF launched the YTW program in 2007 with 19 youth from two communities who earned $14,400 in wages. In 2013, 364 youth earned $264,166 in wages. Of the 538 applications submitted for this summer’s program, 489 were given the green light to work.

“This is my third year as a YTW employee and I like working for CVRF,” said Scott Charlie, Newtok YTW employee. “I want to keep on coming back because I like the pay. Eventually I want to become an intern for CVRF.”

“It feels like we have a really big family because we get to work as a group and help each other,” said Rachel Pitka, Tununak YTW employee.

“I wanted to get a job before I graduated from high school so that I can learn to work with others and make friends,” said Raymond Link, Tununak YTW employee. “As for the money I earn, I plan on buying gas so that I can go out boating and fishing with my dad.”

“It is a very good opportunity for the youth to learn real life and work lessons, “said Janet Erik, CVRF Community Service Representative (CSR) from Chefornak. “They get to learn the importance of showing up to work on time, being more responsible about their actions, and learning the value of earning money instead of having it handed to them.”

“Teaching the youth how to hang fishing nets was exciting, especially when I observed them afterwards helping and learning from each other as things moved forward,” said George Smith, CVRF Regional Manager from Scammon Bay. “The youth I taught got a boost of confidence when I told them that I referred their services to others who needed their nets hung outside of work.”

The YTW program is scheduled to wrap up for most of the CVRF communities on July 3. The remaining communities are scheduled to end on August 1 to accommodate the large number of youth employees in those communities. Every community is planning on celebrating the conclusion of this summer’s program with a picnic party where all participants are invited to join.

“We are building a skilled work-force in our communities, strengthening our region’s economy, and giving a chance for our young adults to have a brighter future,” said CVRF Executive Director Morgen Crow. “CVRF continues to be the largest private employer in our communities, not just for the adults, but for the future of our residents.”

# # #

CVRF is a 501(c)(4) Alaska non-profit corporation whose 20 member villages are along the west coast of Alaska from Scammon Bay to Platinum. CVRF is believed to be the largest Alaskan-owned seafood company in history and is governed by a 20-member Board of Directors elected by the residents of its 20 member communities. CVRF is dedicated to providing economic development in its 20 member communities by creating sensible, tangible and long-term opportunities that generate Hope for residents who want to Fish and Work. CVRF is the largest jobs provider in its member villages and is the first CDQ group to own and control the vessels that harvest its CDQ allocations. For more information, visit or contact Dawson Hoover at 907-278-5151. Please visit CVRF’s Facebook page at and Coastal’s Twitter page at