The bridges are located behind the government center. This is Piotter’s first time teaching, but after completing the two-year carpentry program at Ridgewater College in Willmar, he was a foreman and worked in the field for 15 years. He said that in the morning the class would do some class work before they left to work on a lab project in the afternoon.
“I really like working with my hands, so building the shed and wall framing has been my favorite so far,” said Jacob Zimmer-Koerner, a student in the Cankuya Construction Trades program. “It’s really cool to see a pile of wood turn into something.”
Piotter said learning how to build takes a long way and it takes a lot of mistakes. “You can’t just talk about things and expect them to show up and be able to do the job right. You kind of need experience. You need practice, you need to do it right. times, learn how to do it right. And with that comes mistakes and you kind of need to make mistakes, to learn. “
When the class started in October 2020, there were 13 students. Eight students completed the course and received their certificate on June 23. Of these eight, two are young women.
“There were so many women in the class before when it started. But that was definitely one of the reasons I wanted to take it because you don’t see a lot of women in the trades, especially carpentry. “said Betty Hernandez, a student in the Cankuya Construction Trades program. “… We had like a small panel of job interviews … this morning and I asked about women in trades and one of the companies said that 98% of its workers are men. And he said, most of the women who work with his company, there are secretaries. Like they’re not at work or something. So that’s a great source of motivation for me. “
Funding for this program comes from a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, received by the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council. Eriann Faris is the Youth Program Manager at Southwestern Minnesota PIC. “The Private Industry Council has been providing career development training to adults and youth for over a decade,” she said. “So I strongly believed that we would be able to create some sort of building trail program for some of the members of Lower Sioux. “
She said this type of collaboration is the model she used during her 15-year career with PIC in southwest Minnesota. “You learn very quickly, I think, especially in southwestern Minnesota, or in more rural areas, that you can’t do it alone because… we all have so much that we can put on the table. and operate. “
Faris said that ICP career path programs tend to be geared toward non-traditional students: out-of-school youth, immigrant and refugee populations, and for this reason there is often an enveloping element of support. . To provide true support, Faris said everything about it needs to be student and community-centered. Each morning the Cankuya Construction Trades Course spent about an hour at Jackpot Junction Casino for class time. During one of their classes, PIC taught students employability skills and how to create self-promotional elevator pitches.
“It’s interesting because these elevator speeches we’ve learned are not a culture of self-promotion.” She said she learned that the mindset of the students was more to help the community than to go and work for themselves. “And we wanted to be sensitive to that, and we didn’t want to push it, like it’s what you have to do or how it has to be done, but at the same time, just knowing that it’s kind of the norm, with regard to obtaining employment outside the community.
Faris said that another thing she’s learned throughout her career is that the student should come first and you need to identify what their needs are. “So I don’t think any of the models we’ve created over the past 13 years look the same because the people who make them are not the same,” she said.
For this particular collaboration, the needs identified by the community were to create community workers for community employers.
“There is a community need for employment. There is a need for skilled people or skilled workers in these trades. And there is also a need for us to have our own local businesses where our money is outsourced outside the community, ”Kodet said. . “We want to have our own plumbers and carpenters and everything. So the funding stays with the community.
In fact, the next course will be plumbing. Minnesota West will be offering a Plumbing Certificate to Lower Sioux students starting in the summer of 2021. Minnesota West is also working on logistics to make Lower Sioux a Minnesota West site, as when classes are offered in one location for more two semesters in a row, this location must be an officially designated Minnesota West site. Thus, the college does not lose its pedagogical accreditation.
“It’s very important to us with the idea that we don’t want to just go in and do a quick workout and go out with this one,” Lanoue said. “Our commitment is stronger here and so with the colleges saying they were interested in making the Lower Sioux community a site, it showed a longer term commitment and that we want to build a relationship with the community.
Just like the intricacies of a building project, measure twice, cut once, use the right tool for the job, so too is establishing this schedule. Listening to the community, collecting data and placing the right people in the right jobs. Congratulations. Pilot program, construction and trades, Cankuya.