how we would safeguard the healthy part of
Sometimes, Experience is the
the workforce—things such as social distanc-
ing. Do you ask people who are healthy to stay
at work, knowing they might be more suscep-
tible to those who are already sick? Or do you
keep them at home where they can still do their
job, but they might not be as productive, but
they’re less likely to get sick?”
Fortunately the flu fizzled, but Carlson says
it was a great learning experience. He says
many people were uncomfortable having to
plan how to force quarantine part of the popu-
lation. The situation came up again with the
2016 Ebola outbreak.
A few years ago, Carlson attended a talk given by
the man in charge of continuity for Toyota. The
company had made a decision to keep the facto-
ries making components for its vehicles in Japan
to benefit the Japanese work force. But when an
earthquake knocked one of its factories making
a key component off-line for several weeks, es-
sentially stopping all Toyota automobile manu-
facturing, they had to re-evaluate that decision.
The stoppage cost Toyota $15,000 to $18,000
a minute, Carlson says, and manufacturing
stopped for six weeks.
“They realized they had to split continuity
and move pieces from one continent to anoth-
er and to the East and West coasts,” he says.
“That way, they would not lose everything if
something significant were to happen on the
east coast. It may not be the most ideal sce-
nario when it comes to lean logistics, but when
it comes to long-term sustainability, if another
real-world emergency occurred, it would pro-
vide for Toyota’s continuous operation.”
The same premise applies to information
technology in the United States. Companies
have different forms of backup and storage fa-
cilities, one on the East coast, one on the West
coast, and possibly one in the Interior, he says.
“In a cyber attack, they might suffer some
downtime, but they know they will be able to
get a reliable backup so they won’t have lost
everything,” Carlson says.
Students in the program learn about these
types of real-world scenarios, so when they
get a job—whether it’s at a bank, a large corporation, or a government agency—they’re
armed not only with a business background
but also with a wider world view.
Students without a business degree are
able to get a jump start on an MBA by taking foundational pre-MBA modules through
UAF’s School of Management. The classes
offer a foundation in business topics such as
statistics, accounting, economics, and management through online, self-study courses.
For those who are hesitant about taking the
next step in their education, Dexter has some
“Take one course a semester and don’t stop,”
he says. “In my opinion, experience is more
valuable than education, but experience and
education are unstoppable.” R
“It really caused us to look at how we would safeguard the healthy part of the workforce—things
such as social distancing. Do you ask people who are healthy to stay at work, knowing they
might be more susceptible to those who are already sick? Or do you keep them at home where
they can still do their job, but they might not be as productive, but they’re less likely to get sick?”
— Cameron Carlson, Program Director, Homeland Security and Emergency Management
UAF School of Management
The Alaska PTAC provides services designed to help navigate
the often complex government contracting processes from federal
registrations and payment systems to finding opportunities and
marketing to agencies. We provide no cost, technical assistance in
all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments.
Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance
PTAC is a program of the UAA Business Enterprise Institute and a member of
the National Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.
Julie Stricker is a journalist living near