SKC survey to find tribal
employees educational needs
Polson Representative Steve Lozar tunes in to SKC's career services
Roger McClure on the college's promotion to send a survey to all CSKT
employees in an effort better assist employee student needs. Lozar
added that more training and courses should be offered to people newly
appointed to corporate board positions. He said he feels the job
assigned to board appointees is critical and dealing with multi-million
dollars decisions would be worth money spent on the courses/trainings.
(Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO — Salish Kootenai College is making efforts
to increase more tribal employees to take classes or better yet receive
degrees and certificates by using the Confederated Salish and Kootenai
Tribes’ educational leave.
Part of CSKT’s benefit package allows full-time
employees a maximum of eight hours per week of paid educational leave
for an education undertaking that enhances their current job positions.
Last Tuesday, August 3, SKC staff Roger McClure,
enrollment director Cleo Kenmille and former president Joe McDonald
approached the Tribal Council with an idea of sending out a quick
survey to help better serve the employees’ educational needs.
The survey consists of ten “yes or no” questions.
McDonald thanked the Tribal Council, including
councils of previous years in their support of SKC. He said it is his
desire to continue to provide an educational opportunity to current
tribal employees. McDonald agreed that the first step to do was conduct
a survey amongst the CSKT organization.
Kenmille indicated that the college does have some
employees exercising their educational leave; however, the numbers
could increase by conducting the survey. “We would like to present the
survey to all tribal employees to help develop all we can for them,”
McClure addressed the Council that the survey
would be a beginning of a continuing effort to provide educational
opportunities to tribal employees that would help them (employees),
their families and the tribal membership.
Questions arose from a number of council members
regarding employees taking time off for classes.
CSKT Ronan Representative Carole Lankford asked if
the college offers hospitality training and customer service courses,
and suggested it as an idea to build on employee’s positions. Kenmille
added that the college considered in the past offering certificates and
associate degrees in hospitality. The SKC representatives would explore
the possibilities with senior administration.
Dixon Representative Terry Pitts inquired about
the purpose of the request of whether SKC wanted CSKT tribal employees
to take more classes per the request of supervisors and department
heads beyond the hours allowed to enhance job skills or if the request
or survey was something beyond what was already in place. SKC
representatives responded that they understood the CSKT tribal employee
policy to get the okay through supervisors and departments heads;
however, the college wanted to gain a better understanding of why many
tribal employees that came through SKC did not finish certificates or
degrees they were pursuing.
According to the CSKT Ordinance 69(c) approval or
denial of educational leave is at the discretion of the employer.
McDonald added that with a broader educational
background employees could gain a broader perspective on the job. He
said cultural classes carry an importance to tribal members.
McClure said SKC is exploring more ideas beyond
the survey to help tribal employee students reach their educational
Polson Representative Steve Lozar suggested that
SKC offer courses or trainings on board member duties and
responsibilities. Lozar addressed that appointees to boards should be
well equipped to make major decisions on multi-million dollars issues,
and there are situations when there is a lack of experience or
understanding from members that are selected to serve. He said it would
be money very well spent to help train individuals that need it.
CSKT Chairman Bud Moran included in the discussion
that Bob Gauthier had developed a “primer” that was used to educate and
train board members before and had a copy that he could provide to the
college. SKC representatives agreed that they would discuss the board
training idea and promote it to the administration and keep the council
informed on the progress.
St. Ignatius Representative Joe Durglo suggested
that SKC get on the agenda to attend the CSKT department
head/supervisor meeting on August 11.
The SKC survey to go out to all tribal employees
was motioned by Arlee Representative James Steele, Jr. and seconded by
St. Ignatius Representative Charlie Morigeau.
The survey is expected to go out to employees next