EDMONDS, Wash. -- Some members of the Northwest Native American tribes are finding jobs, even in this difficult economy.
A federal education program provides them training in construction trades, where high-level skills can open doors into new careers.
The Native American Career and Technical Education Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Students come from all over to take advantage of it at Edmonds Community College.
"We have students from Colville, students from Neah Bay, students from Alaska," said instructor Mike Newland.
Newland wants to make the raw recruits hirable as soon as they step out of the classroom.
"We're in class Monday through Thursday from 8 to 3 o'clock with a half hour lunch, just like the real world!" said Newland.
In a matter of weeks, students can earn safety certification as well as college credit. The skills also transfer to their own personal lives.
"They can do their own home repair and not have to pay those big bills to roof their house, put a window in, retrofit their doors, put in weatherstripping, stuff like that," said Billy Burchett, who was a student and now teaches basic framing.
"I'm really grateful to have this job and grateful for the class," said stuent Spencer Morris. "Without the class I wouldn't have even applied for this."
The classes are free and open to tribal members 18-years and older.
MARK NEWLAND,NACTEP: 360-716-4759
WENDY THOMPSON: firstname.lastname@example.org