The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Employee Rights Ordinance office (TERO) and the North Wind Group, a Native-owned family of companies based in southeast Idaho, have signed a memorandum of understanding to further workforce development collaborations. The memorandum promotes cooperation and coordination between North Wind and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to increase training and employment opportunities for the local Native American workforce.
North Wind and TERO began discussions in 2011 to identify areas where the two parties could work together. “This memorandum with North Wind is just one of the many human capacity building and career pathway initiatives that the Shoshone-Bannock TERO has in the works,” said Wes Edmo, TERO director. “It signifies an opportunity for TERO to tap into additional resources and jobs for tribal members. We need to connect with more industries like North Wind to help build capacity for our people in areas where there is a demand for more Native American professionals and where we need to develop more of a workforce in our community.”
North Wind is wholly owned by Cook Inlet Region, Inc., an Alaska Native corporation. CIRI President and Chief Executive Officer Margie Brown said, “North Wind is well-positioned to provide a meaningful partnership with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Focusing on developing Alaska Native and Native American professionals by matching workers’ skills to needs in an industry already present in the community will benefit all involved.”
“This partnership is more than just a business proposition for North Wind,” said North Wind Group President, Sylvia Medina. “As a Native-owned company, we are committed to community development efforts that enhance opportunities for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and CIRI shareholders.”
North Wind hosted a luncheon with TERO commissioners and staff on Aug. 17 at its corporate headquarters in Idaho Falls to kickoff discussions about implementing the memorandum of understanding. Greg Razo, vice-president of government contracting at CIRI, was present to participate in discussions with TERO. According to Razo, “North Wind is committed to meeting the diverse needs of our customers. We look forward to working with the Shoshone Bannock Tribes in identifying and advancing the professional development of tribal members.”
Christelle Freeman, technical staff manager at North Wind and an enrolled tribal member will oversee the memorandum and coordinate activities with TERO. “I think it is a good thing that TERO is collaborating with businesses to connect more tribal members to careers and to supplement its existing services with additional expertise,” said Freeman. “I believe this memorandum is an important step in getting more of our people interested in science, technology and engineering fields.”
North Wind is a small business leader in the environmental, engineering, and construction service industries. The company is based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and operates throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. North Wind offers robust capabilities in the areas of engineering, environmental remediation, waste management, construction, natural and cultural resource services, public involvement, information technology, and environmental compliance, permitting, and management. North Wind supports its comprehensive customer base from 20 office locations throughout the nation performing work for federal and state agencies and private industry.
— End —