SAY Magazine - Spring 2019 - Indigenous Lifestyle

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Workforce Development Pipeline Based out of Alaska, the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) is the USA’s largest tribal consortium, and is constantly facing unique challenges due to its size. With 56 member tribes making up the region, 50% of the population falls under the age of 21, and so AVCP is focusing its economic development projects towards the youth, helping its members become successful contributors to their communities. AVCP has formed a workforce development pipeline, with the goal of creating a base foundation of skills for children, leading towards successful education and effective employment as adults. Here are some of the programs and partnerships AVCP has initiated to prepare its people for success: Head Start AVCP administers Head Start, a program that promotes school readiness for children ages 0-5 from low-income families. The program focuses on preparing children for school by enhancing their cognitive, emotional and social development skills. It supports literacy, family relationships, values and the Yup’ik language. Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) AVCP partners with this program to provide travel funding for students. The program starts working with students in the 5th grade, and by participating students can earn up to 50 college credits while they’re enrolled in middle school and high school. This can


save families the cost of one or more years in college. Other ANSEP programs like the Summer Acceleration Academy gives rural students from Alaska the opportunity to experience university for five weeks in classes facilitated by university faculty. Training and Adult Basic Education Yuut Elitnaurviat is a regional training centre that partners with AVCP to provide basic adult education and training to its community members, helping to prepare students for life after school. This program is designed to help meet specific regional needs in culturally relevant environments. Funding for Higher Education, Training and Adult Basic Education The Education, Employment, Training and Child Care (EET&CC) Department of AVCP provides scholarships to students who aspire to pursue higher education or training after graduating from high school. The program also provides parents with child care, making it easier to go to school or work without the added stress of paying for someone to watch their children.

Connecting Employers to Tribal Members AVCP also launched the Tribal Workforce Development (TWD) Department that meets with employers to learn and help identify staffing needs and facilitate successful employment. This department then collaborates with the EET&CC and Yuut Elitnaurviat to help build an effective workforce according to the specific needs of the employers. Connecting Tribal Members to Employers Overall, the TWD Department has 22 Tribal Job Centres across AVCP communities where clients can look for jobs, get help writing resumes, receive career counseling, attend workshops, take GED practice exams and access more great resources that help lead to fulfilling employment. These are some of the ways that AVCP is enabling their communities to develop by focusing on helping their people grow. These tools and practices will greatly help their young population learn confidently and succeed in life. Visit for more information.