Alaska’s senior U.S. senator spent Wednesday in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough but has no events open to the public scheduled during the Senate’s recess.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski chatted with awe-struck teenagers and offered words of advice at Mat-Su Career Technical High School on Wednesday. The school focuses on educating for careers in trade fields, including oil rig operation or dentistry, along with the usual subjects like math and English.
“The career paths, the career opportunities, and getting kids thinking about it at such an early age, it’s brilliant,” Murkowski said. “It’s the way we should be teaching.”
Murkowski said she expects a challenge finding federal dollars to help fund Alaska projects when she returns to Washington. That includes specific programs that have helped Mat-Su Career Tech, she said.
When Murkowski returns to Washington, D.C., she expects to have to educate her fellow senators on the unique importance these programs have in Alaska.
“Making sure that it’s understood which of these federal programs really, really do help us here in Alaska and being a strong advocate at a time when budget considerations are very real, and very substantive,” Murkowski said. “It’s a challenge, but that’s what we do.”
Meantime, Murkowski defended her decision to not attend a town hall meeting in Anchorage on Wednesday. None of Alaska’s three-member congressional delegation had planned to attend.
“Every day that I’m back here in the state, I’m making myself available in the communities that I’m in, basically making sure that I am in places to go and listen to Alaskans,” Murkowski said.
After the school, Murkowski was due to visit a local senior center.