Tribal Operations Announces New Apprenticeship Program

In the ever-changing world around us, the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa understands the need to develop and implement strategies which will ensure its future sovereignty. One way is through the continued advancement, employment and empowerment of its members. As the group works to help the community reach its full potential, we are proud to announce the implementation of a new apprenticeship training program set to launch this spring.
The new program, known as the Meskwaki Nation Apprenticeship (MNA), has recently hired a coordinator and is working to hire tradespersons who can empower the Meskwaki Nation by preparing career-minded individuals for specialized occupations.
Apprenticeships are a great way for participants to gain paid, hands-on work experience. The MNA will be seeking Tribal participants wishing to earn careers in the carpentry, electrical, engineering, pest control, HVAC and plumbing occupational fields. These paid apprenticeships are expected to last between one and four years. They will provide on-going wage increases to participants who maintain consistent training, complete 144 hours of classroom time per year, and comply with the work standards established for the program.
The MNA led by Apprenticeship Coordinator Mike Brown meets industry regulatory requirements recognized by federal and state governments and is working to ensure the program is consistent with the traditional and cultural values and beliefs of the Tribe. A participant’s success will, however, hinge on his/her commitment to the program.
Brown states, “Some think of ‘learning’ as a completely separate thing from ‘working’ but this is an opportunity for Tribal members to develop new skills while getting paid to do it. It is designed to promote safety related work practices, teach technical skills and increase performance through hands-on practice. The MNA will draw a clear career path to success by blending on-line course work, instructor-led classes, and on-the-job training. In the end, our participants will earn their official Tradesman Certification.
Kent Scheid, Meskwaki Housing Director, adds, “As the Housing Department builds and renovates houses on the Settlement, we are always looking for skilled people to get the job done. This new program will allow us to hire from within and keep these great paying jobs internal instead of having to contract them out.”
The program is in the process of hiring eight certified instructors who will be able to train up to eight apprentices within the first year.