ALBUQUERQUE ― For the first time in the state’s history, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) hosted the first Native American Workforce Summit with 14 Pueblos and Tribes in attendance that receive Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding.
The Summit provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about workforce development programs delivered through Tribes and Pueblos as well as Identify opportunities for engagement and partnership to leverage resources, tools, and funding to increase services and support for Native American job seekers and businesses.
“Governor Lujan Grisham is committed to building an economy that works for everyone,” NMDWS Secretary Bill McCamley said. “The Native American Summit was a pivotal first step in bringing everyone together to discuss workforce needs for our Tribes and Pueblos, and how we can work together to provide the best possible services and resources to job seekers in those communities.”
“The summit provided New Mexico’s Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos a great opportunity to come together and learn how to better support Native American job seekers and Native-owned businesses,” IAD Secretary Lynn Trujillo said. “Thank you to Secretary McCamley and the Department of Workforce Solutions for all of the great work they are doing to support and train job seekers and businesses to become self-sufficient and advance their careers.”
Attendees discussed plans for strategies and actions to improve communication and collaboration, including training for Tribes and Pueblos on NMDWS tools, such as Career Solutions (www.nmcareersolutions.com), Why I Work (www.dws.state.nm.us/whyiwork), and the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System (www.jobs.state.nm.us). Customized training will also be developed on case management skills, to improve intake, assessment and planning co-enrollment of individuals to fully support individual training plans career readiness and exploration with Native American youth. The customized training will including development of quality internships, work based learning experiences and summer youth employment Inclusion of Native American Programs in State and Local Plans.
The Summit took place Nov. 14 with more than 50 individuals in attendance at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Moving forward from this initial summit, Invitations will be extended to include Native American program representation in Local Area Workforce Development Boards. Quarterly informational meetings also will be scheduled that include training on resources and tools.