Charkoosta News: Senator Tester makes inaugural visit to Kicking Horse

While not a stranger to the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration’s Job Corps program, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont) made his initial visit and tour of Kicking Horse Job Corps Center on December 3. Tester previously visited Anaconda Job Corps earlier this summer.

DOL ETA’s Job Corps program has been in existence since 1964. Kicking Horse began as a manpower center in 1965 and is one of 125 centers nationwide and is operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes under a two-year contract with three additional option years for funding from the federal government.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council leaders, Chairman E. T. “Bud” Moran and Vice Chairman Joe Durglo; along with KH center staff, student government representatives, community relation council members, Salish Kootenai College’s Media Center and Ronan Chamber of Commerce greeted the Senator and exchanged dialogue about the recently accepted renewed DOL contract with the CSKT.

Of concern to the Tribes, Tester and KH staff was the reduction of 46 training slots to Kicking Horse in predominately male-based training areas. CSKT Economic Development Director, Joseph Dupuis and KH Center Director Charles Camel said that CSKT leaders had resisted the reduction in training slots but were dictated to reduce the number of training slots in heavy equipment operations, and eliminate all training slots in the carpentry, culinary arts, and building trades and maintenance programs and adding pharmacy tech and medical records support training.

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