Innovative programs foster success for members
From the Desk of Assistant Chief Gary Batton
The Choctaw Nation’s proven success and experience in finding positive solutions is evident in such initiatives as our nationally award-winning Career Development program, which has celebrated nearly 5,000 completers in the past 10 years. The innovative program assists tribal members in obtaining job certifications and the skills necessary to attain employment.
One of the brightest new programs at the Nation, Career Development began in 2007 and has already successfully graduated 3,130 participants. This program is led by a highly experienced, enthusiastic team of professionals who are respected for their vision and dedication to empowering individuals. Partnerships with Eastern Oklahoma State College, Kiamichi Technology Center, school districts, and local community leaders have helped the program to thrive.
In November of 2011, this excellence won Career Development the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Assurance Award. Choctaw Career Development is the first and only program in the United States to be fully accredited as a High Performance Career Development program issued by the Center for Credentialing and Education Inc. (CCE), and the Workforce Development Professionals Network (WDNP). Obtaining this accreditation is evidence that this program is meeting and exceeding the global industry standards of excellence.
Career Development connects job seekers with employers and training facilities through local job fairs such as the “Winds of Change,” the seventh annual career expo set for the 26th of this month at the Expo Center in McAlester. In addition to the annual career expo, fall career fairs are hosted each year in Poteau, Idabel and Hugo. Workshops are held to prepare individuals to attend the career fairs and meet employers.
I enjoy visiting the choctawcareers.com site and reading the success stories as they are posted. Many of Career Development’s clients have received training and are now making more than they had thought was possible. Assisting tribal members in obtaining the tools they need to move up the career ladder is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty and becoming economically self-sufficient.