Keweenaw Initiating Job Training Program

Nov 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 13-2: The Power of Partnerships, Tribal College News

Greater job skills training and employment opportunities on the L’Anse Indian Reservation and surrounding areas should result from a new grant received by Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) in northern Michigan. The Michigan Family Independence Agency and Department of Civil Rights granted $33,000 to the college to provide skills training to low-income families currently receiving social services.

Titled “Success and Empowerment Through Computers and Business,” the program aims to reduce poverty by helping families and individuals to learn new job skills and to upgrade their existing skills. At the same time, it will increase their self-esteem and encourage them to continue their higher education. College course textbooks and materials will be provided to each participant without cost. The program will:

1) Provide a computer-training program. Computer courses to be taught include: keyboarding, basic computers, word processing, spreadsheets, database, and Internet.

2) Provide a business-focused program. Courses include: business communication, accounting, business law, entrepreneurial ventures, and economics.

3) Provide a student services program for enrolled students. KBOCC will employ a part-time student services coordinator/tutor who will be responsible for working with the participants on various levels of computer and business training. Some of the specific areas of support will include: tutoring, study skills, workshops, health and wellness activities, career education, financial aid processing, academic advising, and cultural enrichment activities.

4) Identify employment opportunities for Native American Family Independence Agency recipients who successfully complete the program. Students will learn interviewing techniques, develop letters of employment, create personal portfolios, and visit with potential employers. Collaborative efforts will be made between KBOCC project staff, tribal human resources departments, employment agencies, and other organizations in order to assist clients in locating employment.

Other program sites will be the Lac Vieux Desert Indian Community reservation in Watersmeet and the Hannahville Indian Community reservation in Wilson. Priority will be given to Native American clients who are handicapped or have other barriers to employment such as limited education or limited work experience. “These services and activities promise to have measurable impacts on the causes and effects of poverty within the community as well as remove obstacles associated with training and employment,” according to KBOCC President Debra Parrish.

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