Hands on Electrical Training and Plumbing Training a Success
By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune
Electrical and Plumbing Instructor Corey Cogley taught new skills to dozens of local residents during four days of hands-on training sponsored by Hoopa’s Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) and Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF).
The training organizers hope that the four day course will be the first of many on-site training sessions designed to help boost employment in the Hoopa Valley.
Penny Cordova, the TERO director, said, “The participants learned so much in that short period of time. We’re hoping to set up a formal program to get people employed and self-sufficient.”
The participants worked on mock-ups of a kitchen area. They connected the pipes for the sink and then installed wires and switches for the area’s light fixtures.
Shelby Frost-Christie said, “Each switch could turn all of the lights on or off, and they showed us how to use the blueprints which showed where everything was supposed to go.”
Cogley also demonstrated different types of electrical testing equipment and tools for electrical work, and showed the class how to use a wide variety of plumbing tools.
Alex Bristol said, “It was good. They showed us different kinds of wiring, so if we ran into any problems we could work it out.”
“I work for Plant Management and knowing how to handle electrical problems will make my job easier,” Bristol said.
Mario Rangel said he hoped to put his new skills to work on remodeling his own home, and for helping his friends and neighbors make improvements and repairs on their homes.
“I already knew a little electrical, but I did learn some new ways of putting wires together in the receptacles,” Rangel said.
“The main work I like to do is roofing; I’ve done it for seven years,” Rangel said. “But since I came to Hoopa, I’ve been helping other people out with their electrical and plumbing.”
Cordova said that bringing the instructor to Hoopa made the training more cost-effective for the Tribe.
“By doing on-site group training here in Hoopa, instead of sending people off for training, saves the Tribe money on airfare, lodging, and per diem,” Cordova said.
The TERO and TANF programs plan on sponsoring more training sessions in Hoopa to help boost local employment, and the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s Vice Chairman, Ryan Jackson, advised other departments that training should be held on the reservation if possible.
“The Council wants as many trainings as possible on the reservation to allow more employees the opportunity to attend the training,” Jackson wrote in a memo to all tribal departments and entities.
Cordova said plans are being drawn up for a course on how to safely mix chemicals, but almost any sort of employment training could be set up in the future, based on public demand.
“People should come in and fill out an application for our skills bank,” Cordova said. “If it’s something we think would help make people become more employable then we’d look for instructors to do the training.”