NACTEP – Native American Career & Technical Education Program

by  Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED

Have you heard of the Native American Career & Technical Education Program (NACTEP)? More than likely you have seen advertising in the See Yaht Sub in the past for these classes at the Tulalip College Center. NACTEP was authorized to provide grants to Indian tribes, tribal organizations and Bureau funded schools to support career and technical education programs by the Federal Government. These programs are provided to help Native Americans prepare for high-skill, high-wage or high-demand occupations in established or emerging professions. The grant provides for the program’s teachers, tuition, books and stipends for students so they can effectively participate in their education.

Tulalip Tribes has partnered with Everett Community College (EvCC) and Edmonds Community College (EdCC) to provide the Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP) courses here at Tulalip. With EvCC the focus has been on the Tribal Business Technology Certificate Program. These classes may be applied to a future degree. The goal of the courses and program is to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to gain employment as office support and customer service front line staff. There is a current need within the Tulalip Tribes for these skills.

Edmonds Community College’s focus has primarily been on the Leadership-Management courses. The Leadership Certificate of Completion can be earned by completing a series of courses on Supervision Basics, Presentation Skills, Leadership, Effective Teams and Coaching & Mentoring.

The success rates for NACTEP students is documented and demonstrates that Native American students are progressing through these skill and knowledge building programs nationwide. These students are better prepared to pursue further education or enter into high-skilled or high-wage employment. Courses are offered to all Tulalip members, employees & community members.

This Summer 2016 quarter is beginning July 5th. Courses offered this summer are Business Communications, Introduction to Microsoft Word, Job Search/Professional Development, Beginning Keyboarding, Keyboarding – Speed & Accuracy, Records Management, Service Essentials for Business, Computer Literacy. We are having two (2) Drop-In Sessions on May 31 (2-4 pm) & June 16 (4-6 pm) at the Administration Building in room 263. The complete AD will be in a couple of upcoming issues in the See Yaht Sub. Please look for them.

If you are interested in becoming part of this success story and opening up your opportunities, just pick up your phone and dial 360-716-4888 to contact the Higher Education Department for more information or email us at

TERO Construction Training Center first of its kind: First graduating class to receive state pre-apprenticeship credentials

Graduates of the Tulalip TERO Construction Training Center.
Graduates of the Tulalip TERO Construction Training Center.

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Tulalip TERO celebrated the first graduating class of the new TERO Construction Training Center June 12. Students graduating at the TCTC celebratory lunch showcased their final projects. Tribal leaders, program staff, former staff, and students shared words about what the day meant.

“What you’re doing here is building a foundation for your careers,” began Tim Wilson, a program manager for the Department of Labor and Industry. “There is nothing in this world you can’t do if you put your mind to it. This foundation you’ve built will help in that.”

Wilson congratulated the students, and honored them and staff for the work to make the TCTC program a successful reality.

“I was on the phone the other day, talking to someone back in D.C., and we were discussing national issues and apprenticeship. I was able to say, ‘Well guess what. I’ve got the first tribal pre-apprenticeship program,’ and there was silence on the line,” he said.

Tulalip’s new TCTC program is the first state recognized pre-apprenticeship program fully operated by a tribal entity. Washington State Labor Board categorized it as a “pre-apprentice” program , whose graduates are qualified to join various trade unions and their respective apprenticeship programs.  Upon completion of the coursework students are ready to safely enter the construction work environment.

“This program is a learning opportunity for our members and other Native Americans.  It gives our people a chance to learn a trade and contribute to the building of our community.  Many of the program’s graduates go on to full employment with our tribal construction department, or with one of the many construction companies in the region,” said Tulalip Tribes Chairman Herman Williams.  “We’re very proud of those who have completed the first year of our newly recognized pre-apprentice program.”

The Tulalip Construction Training program has been in existence for over a decade and over the years has been managed by both the Tulalip College Center and The Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) and has also been funded by different grants. This past year it reverted to TERO management and with the change has come a shift in emphasis from simply providing the vocational training program to advocating and helping with job placement after students complete the program and exposuring students to the various trades through speakers from trade unions and representatives from certification programs.  If students choose to stick with the trades as a career pathway they can expect to make a good living.

The Tulalip Tribes operates the TCTC in partnership with Edmonds Community College, offering training in the construction trades to its members, as well as other Native Americans, in order to help them obtain the necessary skills to enter the job market

“Edmonds Community College is proud to be a partner with the Tulalip Tribes in providing this opportunity for students to acquire job-ready skills in the Construction Industry Training program,” said Andy Williams from the Edmonds Community College business program.  “Many of the graduates earn employment in the construction trades upon graduation, earning good wages and contributing to the economy and the community. This is a great educational model initiated by the Tulalip Tribes, and Edmonds Community College is honored to participate.”

TERO program staff, past and present, could not be more proud of their students, honoring the work they were able to accomplish.

The ten week course provides students instruction in the basics of the construction trade.  Students are also awarded a flagging certification, First AID/CPR, and an OSHA 10 Hour Safety Card. In addition to these necessary construction skills, at the Tulalip TCTC students learn a set of values to guide and drive them towards successful careers.

Mark Newland speaks to his graduates during the Tulalip TERO Construction Training Center Graduation luncheon.Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Mark Newland speaks to his graduates during the Tulalip TERO Construction Training Center Graduation luncheon.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Mark Newland one of the instructors for the program, has worked with TERO for many years, formerly with the NACTEP program, offered some final words of guidance to his students. “I don’t worry about my reputation, I worry about my character. Because if you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself.”

Newland was praised for his dedication to the program, called  “the soul of this organization, and a great role model.”

He talked about the pride the students should feel not only about the work they’ve done for themselves, but what it means for years to come, saying, “One of the great things about being a carpenter is, for the next 20 years, you will drive by a project and be able to say to yourself, ‘Hey…I did that.’ That is something to be proud of.”



Andrew Gobin is a staff reporter with the Tulalip News See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Phone: (360) 716.4188

Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center has new smokehouse

Team of students from TCTC just finishing the new smokehouse at the Hibulb Cultural Center. Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Team of students from TCTC just finishing the new smokehouse at the Hibulb Cultural Center.

TCTC students build new smokehouse at the Hibulb Cultural Center


By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News. Photos by Francesca Hillery, Tulalip Public Affairs.

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve has a new smokehouse, thanks to a team of students from the Tulalip TERO Construction Training Center (TCTC). Instructor Mark Newland and his students completed the structure in three days. After the work was finished, Hibulb staff and the Rediscovery program served a lunch of traditional foods and honored Newland and his team with blankets.

“Everything went well with the smokehouse. Everyone seemed happy with how it turned out,” said Rediscovery Program Coordinator, Inez Bill-Gobin.

She plans to use the smokehouse for community purposes, and for classes offered at the center through the Rediscovery program. The first group to use the smokehouse will be the canoe family, who hopes to incorporate traditional foods and traditional food preparation into their summer activities.

A lunch traditional foods was served after the work was completed. Rediscovery program Coordinator Inez Bill-Gobin thanked those that worked on the new smokehouse, and talked about its importance.
A lunch traditional foods was served after the work was completed. Rediscovery program Coordinator Inez Bill-Gobin thanked those that worked on the new smokehouse, and talked about its importance.

Bill-Gobin said, “For the continuation of our culture, we need to have these things in place.”

The smokehouse was built to replace the old smokehouse after its roof collapsed. The old structure came from the original cultural resources building, and was not the most structurally sound. The new smokehouse is built to last, complete with stained siding, a tin roof, and extended eaves on both sides for covered space to prepare racks of fish, clams, or meat.

Teams from TCTC may return in the fall, at the start of a new term, to complete other projects at the Hibulb Cultural Center, including a covering over the fish cooking pit and a boardwalk through the Natural History Preserve.


NACTEP Construction Training begins April 8th

The Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP) construction training begins April 8th and runs through June 13th. Classes are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

NACTEP classes are offered at no charge to Tulalip Tribal members, Tribal members enrolled in federally recognized tribes, spouses of enrolled Tulalip tribal members, and employees of the Tulalip Tribes.

Each student enrolled in the program will earn 18 college credits through Edmonds Community College. Students will learn how to read and draw blueprints, plan a personal project and design, use power tools properly, and other hands-on projects that are useful in the construction industry.

In addition to college credits students will receive: Flagging Certification, First AID/CPR Certification, and OSHA 10 hour Safety Card.

For more information about NACTEP, please contact Mark Newland, NACTEP instructor, at 425-268-9145 or contact William Burchett, Construction Training Site Supervisor, at 360-716-4761 or email: