Customized training to address CN’s needs

BY CHAD HUNTER
Reporter
10/06/2019 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – To benefit the tribe and its citizens, plans are in the works for customized career training programs in fields such as health care and construction.

“We are going to actually be recruiting for what our needs are here at the Cherokee Nation,” Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley said. “That’s why it’s called specialized training. We’re going to tell them what we actually need for the jobs we’re going to have out here.”

Kelley, who outlined the career-readiness plan for tribal councilors on Sept. 16, said it involves partnerships with vocational technical centers. The first facet ties into Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.’s $30 million initiative called the Housing Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act of 2019. The bulk of funding will cover the expense to renovate Cherokee homes.

“We made contact with our (Tribal Employment Rights Office) vendors and they sent people through lead-based-paint training,” Kelley said. “We had our first set of graduates that came through that. So, whenever they start the rehab program, we’ll have contractors that have people on board who can actually go in and do the remediation for the rehab of the houses.”

The next phase, Kelley said, will focus on construction trades via the Northeast Tech campuses in Pryor and Afton, then at Indian Capital Technology Center and Tulsa Tech.

“It will have a little bit of blending from masonry, electrical, plumbing and carpentry,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is give these people some information about general construction so that when we start the bidding process for these contractors to get people, we’ll have general laborers that understand how to use a tape measure, how to use a leveler, how to do masonry work or basic electrical.”

Certificates will be earned through the short-term programs.

“If any of them…want to go into one of the facets more than what they gave them, then they can actually go back and go through vocational training, which could be up to a year or half a semester depending on how fast they learn,” Kelley said.

Eventually, customized training will also be offered in the fields of HVAC, health and IT training, she added.

“Those are the areas that we’ve identified. There could be more we identify next year, but right now those are the ones we’re rolling out for this customized training,” Kelley said, adding that applications are being accepted. “If any of these people qualify for one of our federal programs, they will actually go on that federal program. If they don’t qualify, then we will use the career readiness program.”

Call Career Services at 918-453-5555 for more information.
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