Lack of crew could keep Columbia tied to the dock

Unless the Alaska Marine Highway System can recruit enough workers by March 1 to restaff the unused Columbia, officials said the largest vessel in the fleet would remain tied to the dock for a third summer in a row.

"Management is doing everything we can" to recruit and staff up, Katherine Keith, the ferry system's newly hired change management director, told legislators last week.

As of the first week of January, the state ferry system was short more than 350 workers - about half of the staffing level necessary - to operate the full summer schedule of seven ships, including the Columbia, serv...


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