(August 12, 2015) – Eleven students graduated this morning from Coyote Valley’s first class of vocational education course. Coyote Valley partnered with Mendocino College, Pinoleville Vocation Rehabilitation and local NCCER qualified instructors to provide classroom and hands-on instruction in basic construction Tribal Members, Tribal Spouses, and Other Native Community Members on the reservation. Participants received college credits for completing each course of study including Safety Standards for Construction, Construction Fundamentals, Building Science and Performance and Introduction to Residential Electrical Systems. In addition to the credit courses the Tribe offered an enhancement courses in between the Spring and Summer semesters. Students experienced basic welding, plumbing, drywall and concrete as well as landscape architecture, environmental protection and horticulture.
Building the internal capacity of our people is the best investment we can make as a Tribe. By developing trade skills of our members they will qualify for more jobs on and off the reservation. We hope to be able to continue providing vocational education courses like construction trades, business technologies and hospitality services to our Tribal Members.
Thank you to all the members and other students for wanting to participate and sticking with it. We are very proud of each of you. A big thank you to John Feliz Sr., member and Housing Supervisor, for being a true leader and all the support, Richard Feliz Sr., member and our Casino’s Maintenance Manager, for working with our students and keeping them busy, Ghazal Mahdavian, our Tribal Administrator, for jumping right in and taking control of every situation, Joe Deacon for all the back end networking and Mike Ellege, Maintenance Supervisor, for all the support and help with miscellaneous jobs. Last but not least, thank you to the administration and staff at Mendocino College, especially Steve Hixenbaugh, Interim Dean and Jennifer Riddell, Interim Program Coordinator for believing in this program enough to get involved and work with us to create these opportunities for our community.