The unemployment rate has been decreasingly nationally for several years now, currently sitting at 5.6%*, which is a long way down from a peak of 10% in late 2009 into 2010. But unemployment is still one of the biggest concerns on many Indian American reservations and pueblos around the country.
The remoteness of these communities can lead to a lack of viable economic activity, and consequently a lack of opportunity for residents. The latest figures indicate the average unemployment rate for Indian Americans in the U.S. was 12.8% in 2013**.
In a targeted effort to combat unemployment on many of the pueblos in New Mexico, Carrington College is participating in a unique, collaborative training program. The Carrington College Albuquerque campus has partnered with the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Southern Pueblos Agency and two other colleges – Brookline and Pima Medical Institute – to host a new mobile career training program – The Collaborative Employability Training Event – for all residents of the ten southern pueblos.
Aimed at improving employment outcomes and extending the outreach of support throughout the pueblo communities not just to our graduates, but to all pueblo residents, the program workshops cover employment training, networking advice, interview skills, résumé writing, motivational tips, and more.
The focus of the training is on the health care field, but those who participate in this program could benefit no matter what career they are interested in pursuing. The goal of the program is to help the residents of these pueblos become better equipped for their job search, as Lori Liebman, Director of Career Services at Carrington College explains:
“One of the biggest issues that residents of the pueblos face is transportation. So instead of having them come into the city, we’ve put together a traveling road show to go out to them. It’s a very unique program in that three natural competitors – Brookline, Pima and Carrington – are working together with the same goal.”
“We’re all working of the premise that the reason students come to school is because they want to get a job in their field once they graduate, but there are often ties at home that bring them back to the pueblos. But unfortunately the pueblos can’t hire every single person that comes back.
We bring these educational seminars to the pueblos – we’ve done four so far, and have more coming up – in the hope that they will give residents the confidence, knowledge and a refresher, because many of them have been to our schools, of how to get a job.”
You can learn more about this collaborative effort in this news segment that aired on KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque.
*Source – Bureau of Labor Statistics – http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000
** Source – Bureau of Labor Statistics – http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2013.pdf