Cherokee Nation’s Day Training providing on-the-job opportunities
Cherokee Nation citizen Sandra Whitecrow is a former Day Training participant who was hired full time by the department in 2018 as a file clerk. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation Career Services is located in the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah. It offers programs such as Day Training to help Cherokees find employment opportunities. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – For 10 years, Cherokee Nation Career Services’ Day Training program has helped Cherokees with temporary job placement that often results in permanent employment.
In fiscal year 2018-19, the program had 871 applicants with 649 total placements. Since 2009, more than 6,800 people have applied.
The majority of temporary or permanent jobs placements are with the CN and Cherokee Nation Businesses.
The program helps people with little or no job experience, as well as people who have college degrees or vocational training, to gain work experience through on-the-job training.
Jeff Vance, Career Services employment programs director, said it has helped people who have just gotten out of prison with no GED as well as people with master’s degrees. There are few limits on who can be served, he said.
“It just depends on what the situation is. Some have to come in and get paid to pay for child support, to get caught up. We’ve had them come in and get their GED or driver’s license back. We try to remove those barriers. So on the flip side of that, you’ve got people that have just graduated from college. They can’t make the (CN Human Resources interview) panel because they don’t have any experience,” Vance said.
To qualify, one must be a CN citizen, live within the CN jurisdiction, have no income, be at least 18 years old and out of high school.
The program allows participants to train up to 12 weeks and equal a training payment of up to $1,000. The training payment was recently changed from $3,000 per fiscal year to $1,000 per fiscal year to service more clients.
Payouts include $50 per day for 8-hour workdays, $25 for four hours of work or payouts of $100 to $200 for days worked per week.
Career Services staff is comprised of several employees who started out in Day Training and were hired on after a training period. CN citizen and Career Services file clerk Sandra Whitecrow said the program kept her from living on the streets.
“I started Day Training because I couldn’t find a job at all. I went to the unemployment office every day and I was going online and doing applications. I finally thought about Day Training. They put me in the file room, and I stayed in that area for quite a while, and I just kept working and I like in there. We stayed busy. My boss, we got along and she liked me and the way that I worked. She needed some help in there, so she decided to hire me on,” Whitecrow said.
Whitecrow started the program in late 2017 and was hired on full time in September 2018.
“It makes me feel good. Before I didn’t know where I was going to be at or what I was going to do for money and a job to sustain myself. If I hadn’t got on there, I’d be on the streets, literally. Before that I was on unemployment and that was about to run out, and finally it did and I got on Day Training. It’s given me a big opportunity to sustain my life and keep going and not give up,” she said.
Citizens can apply at Career Services offices in Tahlequah, Claremore, Jay, Muskogee, Pryor, Sallisaw, Stilwell, Vinita and West Siloam Springs.
Day Training is taking applications for CNB opportunities and will start with CN opportunities in the fall. For more information, call 918-453-5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org