City Grill

Johnathon Storter

Johnathon Storter 
Meridian Management Inc.

While the construction outlook for Anchorage and Alaska in general seems to have peaked somewhat, Storter says there are three big drivers for infrastructure development: the Alaska Dept. of Transportation, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. 

“The Tribal Broadband Connectivity program has awarded $48 million across 36 projects in Alaska alone,” he says.

Even with these opportunities, finding and retaining skilled staffing continues as a key obstacle for contractors in Alaska. “Every single industry event you go to there’s a training track or discussion panel on workforce development,” he says. “The problem is we export more young talent than we import.”

Despite the tempered short-term outlook, Storter says he expects the upswing of the cycle to return.

“I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. It seems like there’s been continual opportunity as long as I’ve lived up here,” he says. “Every time I say, ‘This is a flash in the pan,’ in four years there’s some new, shiny driver pushing it along again.”