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Community Catalyst Program

Skagway has recently welcomed its first community catalyst, who is part of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) - a collaborative organization that brings together a range of skills and viewpoints to promote cultural, ecological, and economic resilience throughout Southeast Alaska. The SSP comprises various groups, including regional, community-based, and international organizations, tribal governments, land managers, entrepreneurs, native corporations, individuals, and experts in fields such as food sovereignty, land management, local business, energy systems, and storytelling.

The program manager position for the community catalyst role in our area is the outcome of a partnership between multiple organizations, such as the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, the Skagway Traditional Council, Audubon Alaska, the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council, and the Skagway School District. The Skagway Development Corporation serves as the host organization for this collaboration.


The Skagway Community Catalyst has focused on economic development and positive community outreach. Dedication to promoting regenerative tourism, cultural understanding and respect for the land we inhabit.

My name is Jacob Watson. I grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts before moving to Southeast Alaska in 2014. I immediately fell in love with the people, nature, and culture in the area. I’ve worked in the tourism industry in Skagway ever since, most recently as a Dock Ambassador for the Municipality of Skagway. I enjoy writing and performing music, hiking, camping, spending time with my family, and helping with various community events. 


As the Skagway Community Catalyst & Program Manager, I am privileged to work with my neighbors to foster positive economic growth and build a more sustainable future for all. My current focus areas include helping local creators grow their businesses, working with environmental coordinators to protect salmon habitats, and promoting energy-efficient solutions.

“With a passion for innovation and economic development, I work towards expanding sustainability and cultivating creativity in our communities. "

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