Poole Hero

Jacquelin Poole

Technician, Communicator, Mother

Jacquelin Poole is the sister of another #ExtraToughWomenAK, Eleanor Andrews. Like her sister, Jacquelin was born in Compton, California. She came to Alaska as a single parent of two young daughters in 1972 and started working for Alaska Mutual Savings Bank and First National Bank of Anchorage. In 1976, Jacquelin was hired as the first Black woman to work for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in Prudhoe Bay.

While working in the ARCO Anchorage Office, Jacquelin helped a technician in Prudhoe Bay establish phone line connections to Anchorage and was offered a job on the slope as Communications Operator. During her time with ARCO, she also worked as an Oil Plant Operator at the Crude Oil Topping Plant and a Production Operator for one of the Flow Station Plants.

As a single-mother, Jacquelin’s schedule of one week on/one week off was difficult, especially when arranging childcare, but Jacquelin says she and her daughters made it work. Few women worked on the slope when Jacquelin started but by the time she left in 1984, she says there were more and more women in field.

After leaving ARCO, Jacquelin stayed in Anchorage for six years before moving to Fairbanks where she worked for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Family and Youth Services. During her time there she was inspired to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she received a degree in social work. Upon graduation, Jacquelin worked in Utqiagvik for three years until she moved to Minnesota in 2001 to try something new. Jacquelin is now retired and lives near both her daughters, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren in Minneapolis. She says that whenever she tells people she lived and worked in Alaska, they remark on/about how tough she is.

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