The Laborers Training program joined 11 other Union construction craft training centers as part of the initial Building Trades Tribal Partnership Program to provide a 12-week construction career readiness program for six Minnesota tribal nations. The goal of this pilot readiness training program was to introduce tribal members into the trades as a viable career option and to give these members an inside look into the industry and the skills training needed to build a successful career in the trades.
The initial funding for this pilot program came by way of a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as well as in- kind donations from Union contractors and the Building Trades.
The pilot program was set up with the following tribes: White Earth, Leech Lake, Bois Forte, Fon du Lac, Mille Lacs Annishinabe reservations and the Upper Sioux Dakota Community. Several of the new graduates had been offered apprenticeships through the unions.
A number of the graduates spoke at a special ceremony in June. “I’m excited to get into the benefits of the union, the health insurance and the camaraderie,” said Isaiah RedDay, a member of the Leech Lake Tribe. Jeff Boshey, a tribal member from Bois Forte, offered a unique perspective. “I’ve got to make a contribution fo my family,” said Boshey. “Success starts right here. I believe every one of us will be successful in what we decide to do.”