November is Native American Heritage Month. During this month, it is a good idea to get to know more about the Native American Programs that are part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Mr. Kerry Jevsevar will be a guest on this discussion post this week and provide more information about the program.
We hope community members will comment and add questions around the following ideas:
Do you know how to connect adult learners to your local Native American program?
If so, what services have they been able to provide to your out-of-school youth and adult basic education learners?
What activities or events are you including in your adult education classrooms to celebrate Native American Heritage Month?
Here is a brief overview of the Native American Program and links to some resources that adult education practitioners may find helpful:
This program provides employment and training services including educational assistance and job placement to Native American communities. Services are provided through a network of services providers including tribes, tribal colleges and Native American non-profit organizations.
Kerry Jevsevar is the Program Director for the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center's Employment and Training Program. The purpose of their program is to reduce unemployment among American Indians, traditionally the most economically disadvantaged & least serviced in the United States. Toward this goal, the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center has operated an employment and training program since 1976. The current program is funded through the U. S. Department of Labor.
Kerry currently oversees employment and training services, financial assistance with GED testing and with vocational schools and colleges, job placement, and counseling and strives to educate local communities about the services available to American Indians.
Below are the questions I have for Kerry and I hope our Career Pathways Group members will add additional questions to the discussion thread as well.
- Do adult learners need to have certain documentation or specific identification materials for eligibility determination prior to contacting the Native American Program or does the Native American Program help them acquire documents they may need to be eligible for services?
- Does the age of the participant effect what services and/or benefits they may be eligible for with the Native American Program?
- Is there anything else adult education practitioners should know or share with adult learners prior to referring an individual to the Native American Program?
Meredith asked, "Does the state envision different types of programming or supports for adults located in urban, rural, or reservation settings? If so, what might they be?"
Kerry, could you please discuss how programming might be adjusted for various settings?
Kerry has had a little difficulty getting into the group to comment, so below is some information he wanted to share and we will keep this discussion open for another week to answer more questions.
- American Indian,
- Alaskan Native, or
- Native Hawaiian
- unemployed at least seven days,
- employed less than full time, or underemployed, or
- are economically disadvantaged (according to HHS poverty guidelines).
Note: Enrollment with a federally recognized tribe is not a requirement for participation
- Individual Employability Evaluation
- Classroom Training Assistance
- Job Search and Placement
- Career Counseling
- Financial assistance with career training in high priority occupations at vocational schools, public colleges and universities, and other accredited programs.
-Contingent upon available funding
-Military veteran’s preference
-Associates and Bachelor’s degree programs, and industry recognized license/certificate programs
-up to $12,000.00 in tuition assistance for 2021-2022 program year (divided by number of terms of training and/or credits required) **we do not pay for books
-amount is updated for each program year
-new paperwork must be signed for each program year while in training
-Non-duplication of services with other WIOA programs
1. Do adult learners need to have certain documentation or specific identification materials for eligibility determination prior to contacting the Native American Program or does the Native American Program help them acquire documents they may need to be eligible for services?
The Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center (COTRAIC)* does not assist with the acquisition of necessary eligibility documents for our Native American WIOA program. For eligibility, we need adult learners to present:
1) state-official picture identification (such as a Driver's License, ID card, Passport, etc.);
2) a family tree going back two (or more) generations that identifies the Tribal affiliation of any ancestors; in addition to
3) State- or Federally-issued Tribal documents _OR_ two witnesses who have signed an attestation of self-identification as a Native American.
*Please note that other Native American WIOA programs may have other eligibility services and/or requirements; please see the NINAETC Directory to locate the Native American WIOA grantee/program that is closest to you.
2. Does the age of the participant effect what services and/or benefits they may be eligible for with the Native American Program?
The COTRAIC Native American WIOA program participants must be age 18 years or older. The age of our program participants does not affect services and/or benefits for which they may be eligible through our program. Other Native American WIOA grantees may have youth programs that are open to individuals between 14 - 24 years of age; again, check the NINAETC Directory to locate the Native American WIOA grantee/program that is closest to you.
3. Is there anything else adult education practitioners should know or share with adult learners prior to referring an individual to the Native American Program?
The COTRAIC Native American WIOA program is specific to participants' needs around job training, job readiness, and job placement. We have many partner agencies to whom we can refer participants who require things outside of the scope of our WIOA program. Additionally, the scope of Native American WIOA Programs varies from grantee to grantee; please see NINAETC Directory to locate the Native American WIOA grantee/program that is closest to you.
4. Does the state envision different types of programming or supports for adults located in urban, rural, or reservation settings? If so, what might they be?
Each Native American WIOA program is different, depending on grantee organization that serves the geographical area of the individual who is seeking services. COTRAIC serves individuals within Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Washington, DC. It is best to contact the grantee organization of the Native American WIOA program closest to you for more information.