TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Career Services is being awarded a $1.4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to invest in trade training services at the tribe with a focus on women in non-traditional trade training.

The Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistant Grant will be used to provide non-traditional employment training and services to traditionally under-served populations of Cherokee Nation citizens with an emphasis on including women, justice-involved and those in recovery.

“Improving and expanding our Career Services programs is always of high importance at Cherokee Nation and we’re thankful that this grant will help us do just that,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Our Career Services department already does such magnificent work, but with this particular funding, it will give even more Cherokees, especially Cherokee women, more opportunities for a secure career.”

Over the next three years, NET will involve the training of 21 building trade trainees, 21 fiber optics/broadband technician trainees and 30 high-voltage lineman trainees.

“We are incredibly grateful to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for its support of our Career Services programs,” Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley said. “This funding will allow us to recruit participants for a new Non-Traditional Employment Training career path. Creating more opportunities for Cherokee Nation citizens, with a strong focus on women, to achieve economic independence and a secure future for themselves and their families.”

This project supports workforce education and skills training activities that are directly connected to the demand for skilled labor in the business community and will result in well-paying quality jobs for Cherokee citizens.

Along with the proposed project, Cherokee Nation Career Services has experienced tremendous growth throughout the past few years, with the addition of the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, new reintegration programs, new dislocated worker programs, new training services and new health emergency programs as well. Services of the proposed project will place priority on women and veterans.

There will be a minimum of 72 Cherokee citizens, who are 18 years of age and older and who live within the Cherokee Nation Reservation, selected as trained participants.

The proposed project will begin with the expansion of Cherokee Nation Career Services’ in-house construction, hi-voltage lineman, and fiber optics/broadband technician programs.