Joanne Taylor of Boise writes grant to train and help employ Shoshone-Paiute tribe members


Joanne Taylor of Boise: Federal grant applications aren’t so bad. Especially when you consider the number of people you could help, and the impact on a community when the government funnels $5 or $6 million into it.

I’ve been working on a “Workforce Innovation Fund” application for the Employment & Training Administration of the Dept. of Labor. The lead applicant is the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. The idea behind our grant proposal is to reduce dependence on government assistance programs by providing tribal members access to workforce training programs that are proven to result in jobs and long-term employment prospects.

Our approach is a cure to lasting unemployment and poverty, rather than a band aid. And, it addresses the needs of the local construction industry, currently challenged by a lack of trained, skilled workers.

The training will be conducted by the Heavy Equipment Operator School of Idaho (HEOSI) and will consist of two programs: Heavy Equipment Operator and I-CAN (International-Construction Academy Networks) training. Both programs offer industry-recognized certification, and boast a 99% graduation rate.

We hope to put 200 tribal members through HEOSI training programs and, eventually, to work. This would have a significant impact on a segment of population currently dealing with a 47%+ unemployment rate. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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