TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at increasing the rate at which the tribe hires Cherokee citizens who are participating in Cherokee Nation career and educational programs.
“It is in our best interests for the Cherokee Nation to invest in Cherokee citizens and their families through career training and higher education programs,” Chief Hoskin said. “With this executive order, we will take that one step further. This order ensures we are providing direct employment opportunities to as many of our program participants as possible, which is consistent with the core values of the Cherokee Nation. In addition to helping citizens find good careers, our administration will also work to reduce barriers to access to our career training and higher education programs and services through improved outreach, especially to historically underserved populations.”
Chief Hoskin’s executive order not only establishes a preference within the Cherokee Nation Employment Rights Act to employ participants of the tribe’s career services and higher-education programs, but also requires the tribe’s Career Services and Education Services departments to develop performance measures.
“The Cherokee people have a strong work ethic, and our obligation is to provide opportunities for career success,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “This action is one more way we can support the Cherokee people – whether they go to college or career tech or even entry-level employment – reach their career goals.”
Both departments must establish job-placement targets for program participants beginning with fiscal year 2024, and must also evaluate gender equity within their respective programs within fiscal year 2023.
The order also seeks to remove barriers to employment that are often experienced by Cherokee citizens in historically underserved communities and groups through better outreach. This includes Cherokee women and Cherokee citizens of Freedmen descent.
The full executive order is available online at this link: https://www.cherokee.org/media/2hzjx3je/2023-04-cth.pdf.
In 2019 Chief Hoskin, Deputy Chief Warner and the Cherokee Council enacted the Career Readiness Act, giving a boost to the tribe’s Career Services Programs.
During the last four years, Cherokee Nation has invested over $197 million in various job training programs. There have been nearly 3,700 participants in these programs in the past year alone.
Earlier this year, the Council approved Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner’s plans to increase college scholarships to $2,500 per semester and established a permanent $5 million scholarship endowment for Cherokees seeking to enter behavioral health professions.
There are currently over 6,600 students on various Cherokee Nation college scholarships.