Training for a better tomorrow

TERO Vocational Training Center  instructor Mark Newland (right) celebrating the graduates achievements.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Wednesday, December 20, fourteen Native students were honored at the Dining Hall with a graduation banquet for their commitment to training for a better tomorrow. The fourteen students, five of whom are Tulalip tribal members, were the latest cohort to complete an intensive, fourteen-week pre-apprenticeship construction trades program offered by the TERO Vocational Training Center (TVTC).

As far as we know, the program, which is managed by the Tulalip TERO department, is the first and only state and nationally recognized Native American pre-apprenticeship program in the country. The program is accredited through South Seattle Community College and Renton Technical College, while all the in-class, hands-on curriculum has been formally approved by the Washington State Apprentice and Training Council.

The fifteen-week program provides curriculum that teaches a variety of core construction skills that can last a lifetime. Upon completion, the graduate’s dedication to a better future is rewarded with a wide-range of new employment opportunities now available to each graduate as they navigate the construction trades career path. In addition, students are trained and awarded certifications in flagging, first aid/CPR, and OSHA 10-hour safety training. Graduates have also received certification on three pieces of lift equipment, specifically the scissor lift, boom lift, and industrial fork lift. TVTC students graduate trained and ready to safely and productively enter the construction work environment.

“This TERO program is an amazing opportunity for any Native American, regardless of which tribe you’re from,” says Tulalip tribal member and now TVTC graduate, Brando Jones. “I was living in Tacoma when I first learned of this class. After meeting with Lynne and Robert from Tulalip TERO I knew this class was the best chance for me to reconnect with Tulalip, while at the same time building a foundation for a better future. Now that I’ve graduated, my goal is to use this experience as a stepping stone towards success. I’m really going to miss the teachers and students. To my fellow graduates I say this, ‘We have the tools to build and keys to unlock doors, so let’s get it!’”

The TVTC pre-apprenticeship program is a unique, nationally known model that supports tribal members from sovereign nations across the United States. The program is not dependent on tribal hard dollars. In fact, zero hard dollars are used to fund it. Instead, due to the dedication and commitment of so many individuals the TVTC program continues to grow and gain more recognition while being funded by the graciousness of the Tulalip Charitable Fund, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, DOT’s Ladders of Opportunity Grant, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Pass Grant.

This Fall session gave TVTC students plenty of opportunities to showcase their newly acquired construction-based skill set with a series of projects. Community projects included a two-day demo and refurbishing of the Hibulb Cultural Center’s fence, constructing a presentation booth for Hibulb, and making a concrete sidewalk at the apprenticeship training headquarters in Seattle.

“This particular group of students was a very together, cohesive unit,” describes instructor Mark Newland. “They looked after one another real well and were always willing to help each other out. When it came to the culminating project, building three tiny houses, the students showed a lot of passion in their work and did an awesome job.”

Under the supervision of instructors Mark Newland and Billy Burchett, the students constructed three tiny houses for their final class project. These houses, which are approximately 120-square-feet in size, are being donated to homeless families located at a yet to be named, newly created homeless village in Seattle. The insulated houses will be a major upgrade for their soon-to-be residents as they offer electricity, heat, a much safer environment and, most importantly, a measure of stability.

“TVTC works with Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). To date we have built 18 tiny Homes for this organization, which donates all supplies and materials required. This has saved TVTC thousands of dollars as these houses are used for training purposes, and lumber that was previously purchased for class is no longer needed,” explains TERO Coordinator, Lynne Bansemer.

“This most recent TVTC session we added a specialty course – a forty-hour scaffolding course – that was developed by the Carpenters Union Training division,” adds Lynne. “TVTC is excited to bring this opportunity to our students as scaffolding is used across many trades and this allows more employment opportunities for our students.”

Since the Fall of 2013, when TERO took over the program, 141 students have graduated the pre-apprenticeship program. Of those 141 graduates, 57 have been Tulalip Tribal members, and 17 have either been Tulalip spouses or parents. That’s 74 graduates from Tulalip and 67 fellow Native Americans from all over the region who have opted to train for a better tomorrow by completing the construction training program.

TVTC has seen an increasing number of persons who balance a full-time job while attending the training program. This term they had several students who came to training school every day who held full-time jobs by working swing or graveyard shifts. These students wanted more opportunities in their future and were willing to put in the dedication and sacrifice necessary in order to open more doors.

For more information on Tulalip TERO’s TVTC program or to inquire about admission into the next pre-apprenticeship opportunity, please contact Lynne Bansemer, TERO Coordinator, at 360-716-4746 or visit TVTC.TulalipTERO.com

 

Training for a Better Tomorrow

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

 

On Monday, December 12, fourteen Native students were honored with a graduation banquet at the Hibulb Cultural Center for their commitment to training for a better tomorrow. The fourteen students, six of whom are Tulalip, were the latest cohort to complete an intensive three-month pre-apprenticeship construction trades program offered by our TERO Vocational Training Center (TVTC).

As far we know, the program, which is managed by the Tulalip TERO department, is the first and only state and nationally recognized Native American pre-apprenticeship program in the country. The program is accredited through South Seattle Community College and Renton Technical College, while all the in-class, hands-on curriculum has been formally approved by the Washington State Apprentice and Training Council.

The three-month program provides curriculum that teaches a variety of construction trades and skills that can last a life time. Upon completion, the graduate’s dedication to a better future is rewarded with a wide-range of new employment opportunities now available to each graduate as they navigate the construction trades career path. In addition, students are trained and awarded certifications in flagging, first aid/CPR, and OSHA 10-hour safety training. Upon completion of the program students are ready to safely enter the construction work environment and demonstrate everything they’ve learned.

 

 

 

Tulalip tribal member and Rediscovery Coordinator for the Hibulb Cultural Center, Inez Bill, opened the graduation ceremony with words of encouragement and guidance.

“Accomplishing this graduation day is a great milestone for the students. They worked hard to get here. I’d like to thank them for the benches they made that will be a part of our longhouse. Also, the three tiny homes they made that will be donated to the Seattle homeless is such a good cause. The work that they’ve done is real world work and it will add to the Tulalip and Seattle communities. I raise my hands to that quality of work. The teachings and values of our work is to do things in a good way, to help and add to our community, and I think you all have met those traditional values. You have honored our ancestors by putting your best foot forward and doing the best you can. I’m truly happy to be a witness to what you all have achieved on this special day.”

Under the supervision of instructors Mark Newland and Billy Burchett, the students constructed three tiny houses for their final class project. These houses, which are approximately 120-square-feet, are being donated to homeless families located throughout the Seattle area. The insulated houses will be a major upgrade for their soon-to-be residents as they offer electricity, heat, a much safer environment and, most importantly, a measure of stability for their new residents.

 

Tulalip TERO was recently awarded the ‘Housing Hero” award by the Low Income Housing Institute for donating the most tiny homes to the Seattle Homeless. Including the three to be soon delivered, Tulalip TERO has constructed and given a total of eleven tiny homes to those in most need.

The TVTC construction trades pre-apprenticeship program is a unique, nationally known model that supports tribal members from sovereign nations across the United States. The program is not dependent on tribal hard dollars. In fact, zero hard dollars are used to fund it. Instead, due to the dedication and commitment of so many individuals the TVTC program continues to grow and gain more recognition while being funded by the graciousness of the Tulalip Charitable Fund, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ladder of Opportunity, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Since the Fall of 2013, when TERO took over the program, 108 students have graduated the pre-apprenticeship program. Of those 108 graduates, 43 have been Tulalip Tribal members, and 11 have either been Tulalip spouses or parents. That’s 54 graduates from Tulalip and 54 fellow Native Americans from all over the region who have opted to train for a better tomorrow and complete the construction training program.

 

Francis Napoleon of Quinault (left) communted from Tacoma every day for the opportunity to graduate from the TERO program.

 

Among this graduating class are two members of the Northern Arapaho tribe. Nick Brown and Weston Shakespeare both journeyed from their reservation in Wyoming to attend the heralded TVTC class. Also among this cohort of graduates is 18-year-old Francis Napoleon of Quinault. After just graduating Aberdeen High School, Francis was informed of the Tulalip TVTC class and was determined to open up more possible career paths for his future. He packed up a few essential belongings and moved in with family just outside of Tacoma (the closest relative he had to Tulalip), and then proceeded to wake up every day at 4:45 a.m. so he could drive himself to class in Tulalip by 8:00 a.m. Following class he’d hop back in his car and drive back down to Tacoma, where he’d usually arrive at 6:00 p.m. Every day for three-months he endured a monster commute and marginal free time in order to obtain the one-of-a-kind pre-apprenticeship certification offered by Tulalip TERO.

“My immediate plans are to move back to Aberdeen and hopefully go to work for a construction company close to home,” says Francis, who had zero previous experience with construction tools prior to the class. “I’d recommend the program to any Native American. I loved it. The learning experience, the instructors, and my fellow students made it a great three-months.”

 

 

 

Contact Micheal Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

TERO Vocational Training Center winter graduation

Winter Quarter GraduatesPhoto/Micheal Rios

Winter Quarter Graduates
Photo/Micheal Rios

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Sixteen students celebrated their graduation from an intensive three month pre-apprenticeship construction trades program on Monday, December 8, at the Tulalip Tribes administration building. The program, which is managed by the Tulalip TERO department, is the first state recognized Native American pre-apprenticeship program in the United States. The program is accredited through the Edmonds Community College and all in class curriculum has been formally approved by the Washington State Apprentice and Training Council. The three month course provides students instruction in the basics of the construction trade. In addition, they are awarded certifications in flagging, first aid/CPR, and an OSHA 10-hour safety card. Upon completion of the program students are ready to safely enter the construction work environment.

During the graduation ceremony, students shared what the program has meant to them, their favorite part of the program, and what their goals are after graduating. TVTC graduate Aaron Kornish commented on his favorite part of the program, “the opportunities of learning how to build things with various techniques, getting the opportunity to meet different trade representatives, and having the opportunity to expand my horizon.”

While presenting their final thoughts to the audience of family, friends, trade representatives, and community members, students also presented their personal projects, a project they build as a class final that encompasses all the techniques and concepts they’ve learned over the past three months. Some projects included a skate board ramp, a four foot tall dresser, a cabinet for PlayStation 4 games, and an entertainment center.

Tulalip vice-chairman Les Parks delivered a brief speech to the graduates and audience members before the diplomas were handed out, noting that after graduating high school in 1975 he started a construction training program that was very similar to the TVTC program. “My recommendation to the students is to follow your dream, find your passion, find what fits you and go for it. Make it work,” Parks expresses to the students, “Wherever you find your passion, follow it, and make it work for you.”

Mark Newland, nine year instructor of the construction program, was presented with and wrapped in a Pendleton blanket by his graduating students to honor all the hard work and dedication he has given to his students and the program.

This winter session marked the second successful completion of the program since undergoing reform. No longer titled the Native American Construction Trades Employment Program (NACTEP), the program has been transformed into the TERO Vocational Training Center (TVTC) and is completely funded by Tulalip TERO in partnership with Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Tulalip Foundation. TVTC classes are offered at no charge to Tulalip tribal members, tribal members of federally recognized tribes, spouses/parents of Tulalip tribal members, and employees of the Tulalip Tribes. The next TVTC session starts January 27, 2015. For more information contact Lynne Bansemer, TERO Client Services Coordinator, at (360) 716-4746 or lbansemer@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov.

 

Winter Quarter Graduates 

Bradley Althoff, Tulalip

Mangus Bauer, Round Valley Indian Tribes

Nathan Bayhurst, Tulalip

Leonard Begay, Navajo

Joe Fox, Tulalip Spouse-Parent

Arrion John, Yakima

Aaron Kornish, Parent of Tulalip Tribes

Jordan Laducer, Turtle Mountain Chippewa

Micah Laducer, Turtle Mountain Chippewa

Blaze Medina, Tulalip

Dylan Monger, Tulalip

Greg Moses, Tulalip

Robert Ramos, Tulalip

Dylan Rivera, Yakima

El Tico Tyson, Spouse of Tulalip

Tyrone Yazzie, Navajo