TAHLEQUAH – For qualified candidates looking to enter the job market more quickly, studying at vocational training schools offers an option to do so.
Cherokee Nation Career Services offers tribal and federally funded programs that can lead to careers for CN citizens, citizens of federally recognized tribes, and non-tribal citizens.
“Trade schools offer short completion times and low tuition fees,” according to CN Career Services officials. “Depending on the trade, graduates may qualify to enter their occupation directly, or they may need to pass a licensing exam or become an apprentice or journeyperson.”
Some training programs that speak directly to CN citizens are the Powerline Technician Training and the Fiber Technician Training.
“Our Powerline Technician and Fiber Technician programs … are designed to prepare individuals for skilled employment in a fast-growing career path,” department officials said. “In-house training programs include training materials, courses, assessment and supervision developed by Career Services staff along with hired instructors to achieve and complete the predetermined program outcomes.”
Over the next three years, Career Services will experience growth across all of its programs. In October 2021, CN announced plans to invest $29 million to help CN citizens who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 receive job training in skilled trades such as health care, child care, HVAC, construction and information technology.
“The Cherokee people deserve every opportunity to support their families and pursue their dreams. I know that if Cherokee Nation provides a foundation for success, then the Cherokee people will build something amazing on that foundation. It means having the back of the Cherokees who want to work but need a helping hand to learn the skills they need to succeed,” said Principal Chef Chuck Hoskin Jr.
In 2019, CN officials also signed the Cherokee Nation Career Readiness Act, which doubled funding each year.
As career services opportunities continue to grow, career services executive director Diane Kelley said she’s been “lucky” to witness student successes.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with the Vocational Training Program for many years and have enjoyed every minute of it,” Kelley said. “It is gratifying to meet so many graduates who have completed our career training program at Cherokee Nation. I was fortunate to see that they were grateful for the opportunity and their success.
For more information, visit cherokee.org/all-services/career-services/contact-us/.