Day Training program taking applications in autumn
The Cherokee Nation’s Career Services is located in the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It offers programs such as Day Training to help Cherokees find employment opportunities. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Courtney Cowan was a participant in the Career Services’ Day Training program. She utilized the program while in college and it eventually led her to full-time employment in Career Services as a special assistant. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Career Services’ Day Training program helps Cherokees with temporary job placement and training that could potentially result in permanent employment. And because of an influx of applicants during the holiday season, the program will not take applications until the autumn of each year, with the exception of special circumstances.
“We realized that we have a need for people more in the late fall during the holiday season, so that they can get that money to get over that hump. So a lot of them are without jobs, they’re without training. So we decided that we would start actually start working on the Day Training program after the Labor Day holiday,” Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley said.
Jonathan Crittenden, Day Training coordinator, said the program has slowed because of participants utilizing newer programs throughout the year such as the Dislocated Worker Program and the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Since it’s inception in 2009, Day Training has helped more than 2,000 participants who have attained employment within the CN or its entities.
The majority of temporary jobs placements take place within the CN and Cherokee Nation Businesses.
The program helps people with little or no job experience, as well as people who have received college degrees or vocational training, to gain work experience through training on the job.
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.
“Day Training affords them that opportunity to get their foot in the door so that either Health (Services) or Education (Services) or (the) department they land in can actually see whether or not they are somebody that would make a good employee. We’ve been very fortunate here at the Cherokee Nation to have the Day Training program so that it affords those directors the opportunity to see what’s out there, and in a lot of cases those people got picked up,” Kelley said.
Crittenden said the program is a “day-to-day” program of temporary employment but also services higher education students who are looking to complete internships within the CN.
A participant is able to utilize any Career Services program if they qualify. For example, a college graduate who meets the criteria for the SYEP can work at a job in his or her field of study and then shift to the Day Training program to continue gaining work experience until a job opportunity opens.
CN citizen Courtney Cowan is a participant who utilized Day Training and the SYEP and is now a special assistant in Career Services. After graduating college and obtaining a degree in health and human performance, she had trouble attaining employment.
“With all the connections and stuff I’ve made, it’s been amazing. It’s been a blessing for me because I think just around this area it’s really, really hard for people to find jobs. Even with a degree right now people are struggling,” she said.
Kelley said she believes in hiring participants “who make something” of themselves. “If we can’t hire our own people, people that have come through the program that we’ve trained, then what are we even here for? That’s they way we look at it.”
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