Physical labor is always needed, and soon the Tribes can help the ones who need.
The Tribal Employment Rights Office is starting a day laborer program for those who need employment but don’t have all of the educational requirements like a high school diploma or GED, but want to earn money.
Barry Bighorn, Director of TERO, said the program is a first of it’s kind here.
The idea is like what immigrant workers do in large cities in the southwest, such as Phoenix. Here, sites are set up for day laborers to wait patiently for people to come along and tell them they need so many workers for their project. They go and are paid at the end of their work.
The Pima Maricopa Tribe of Indians in Arizona has one of these programs set up. Their tribal members are picked up, taken to work, and at the end of the day they are paid. It has been so successful that they will be looking to this program as a model to design the Fort Peck TERO Day Laborer program.
Every day, people who want to work with the program will come out to the TERO and sign up. People who need help, such as installing a fence or cleaning yards, will come to the Tribal Building and ask for the day laborers. Payment for their help is made to TERO, and then the laborers go out and do their job but when they return they will be paid for the previous days work in the morning.
The aim is to get at least 20 people working odd jobs locally. All of them will be paid through the program.
Bighorn said he wants to get the program running to a point where it will be self sustaining and could help put people to work who have trouble getting regular jobs. This includes certain types of felons who cannot be employed by federal standards.
“Anyone can work through this,” Bighorn said.
People can make up to $600 tax free doing this kind of work.