Accommodations for Alaska Onshore Processor Employees
Many processing plants offer fully- or partially-subsidized dormitory or camping facilities to some (if not all) employees. Plants located in remote locations often provide housing to all employees. Partially subsidized housing can cost $5 – $10 a day for a tent platform at the local city-operated tent city, or up to $20 per day for a nice dormitory-style room. Fortunately, many plants refund all housing costs to those employees who stay for the duration of the season, rewarding them for their dedication.
You will find that costs vary from place to place. You may also find that a few companies even pay employees who live elsewhere higher wages. Free housing can range from a nice dorm room to a place to pitch your tent.
For the most part, plants that have on-site dormitories or bunkhouses give employees a room that is shared with at least one person. Up to six workers may share a room. Better facilities have a television, VCR, laundry room, and shared bathrooms with showers. It’s quite common to find the cafeteria (if they have one) next door.
During our travels through salmon country, we have seen living quarters located right next to the main processing house, directly across the street, and spread out over the company’s property. It seems every company has its own plan and every set of living quarters has advantages and disadvantages.
On a recent trip, we saw that one large company had actually brought a barge up from Seattle, parked it next to the plant, and had equipped it with portable housing units. In yet another town, one small processing plant had converted an old school bus into sleeping quarters just behind the facility.
Once you either know which employer you’ll be working for or at least know which cities you’re targeting, the ‘housing picture’ will become much clearer.
For more information about onshore accommodations, see The Journey North