Providing skills employers need most. Improvements to available technology, construction materials, and methodologies create a constant state of flux in the construction industry. With its mission to produce the highly-skilled, safety-oriented workforce, the existing Alaska Laborers’ Training Facility needed to expand. A new site was selected. Located in the mountains above Chugiak, it offers commanding views of Mt. Susitna across the inlet but unforgiving hard rock upon which to build. The resourceful solution Reid Middleton engineered involved blasting and sculpting out a bench for the building to sit on. The facility’s foundations were then customized both to fit the site’s unique soil conditions, and to fulfill the building’s instructional purpose. In the northern lab space, the slab was intentionally omitted to allow students to work on practicing placing and compacting soil around sub-grade piping. The ceiling height for the facility’s two shop spaces was extended to provide crane training to students: large overhead bridge cranes span the spaces and allow heavy equipment to be moved to and from the upper mezzanine. This wing of the new 37,500 SF facility also included offices, classrooms and a large covered patio over the second floor. The second wing contains residential areas for the 600 students who attend every year from across the state. It includes common kitchen, dining, laundering, lounge, and restroom areas as well as private lodging facilities for 23 students, 2 instructors and a caretaker. The new Alaska Laborers’ Training Facility will enable Alaskans for generations to come to gain the skills necessary to be successful in their trade, whether new apprentices or experienced journeymen.