Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Summer Youth Career Fair educates youth about employment

By Alyssa Nenemay

60 potential employees attended the annual Summer Youth Employment career fair with the hopes of scoring a summer job. (Alyssa Nenemay photo) 60 potential employees attended the annual Summer Youth Employment career fair with the hopes of scoring a summer job. (Alyssa Nenemay photo)

PABLO – The Tribes’ Department of Human Resources hosted its annual Summer Youth Career Fair this week with 60 potential employees in attendance. The fair is a daylong workshop that covers topics of employment followed by a meet and greet with various tribal departments.

The bleachers were full of Confederated Salish and Kootenai youth ages 14-21 seeking summer employment. DHRD host Renee Pierre said the program’s goal is to give its participants experience. “We want to give these kids an opportunity to get some work experience and learn about employment,” she said.

Following an opening honor song, CS&K tribal chairman Joe Durglo gave a welcoming speech. “Your people need your skills and your skills will only come with hard work,” he said.

Jody Perez with the CS&KT Payroll Department covered the topics of pay periods, taxes, and time sheets. “Although the state minimum wage is $7.85, we go by Federal minimum wage which is still $7.25,” she explained.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Chairman Joe Durglo gives a welcoming speech. (Alyssa Nenemay photo) Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Chairman Joe Durglo gives a welcoming speech. (Alyssa Nenemay photo)

Leslie Caye with the “I Strengthen My Nation” program offered the crowd advice on detailed topics like: being on time, dressing appropriately, refraining from phone and headphone use, staying awake, and refraining from showing up to work with “hickeys.”

“You’re representing yourself, your department, and your tribe,” said Caye. “It’s important that you give a good impression. Respect the fact that you’re at your job on someone else’s time. You’re being paid.”

The potential employees were also treated to presentations on: student success stories, professionalism and work habits, interviewing, and budget/finance. In the afternoon they were given an opportunity to interview for 60 employment slots with various tribal departments.

CS&KT councilman Steve Lozar said he too began his career with the Summer Youth program in 1961 and sent well wishes for the participants’ futures. “Hopefully in 52 years you’ll be retiring from a long and successful career with the tribes. Remember, you’re not just working for yourself but each other and those yet to come,” he said.

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