The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council voted to increase the popular Day Work Program by an additional $750,000 during the Council’s monthly meeting last week in Tahlequah. The program was announced in September and was designed to provide immediate assistance to Cherokee citizens that are unemployed and need a temporary helping hand.

“This has been a rewarding program. People appreciate the opportunity to provide for their families in these dire economic times,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “I’m very proud of this program. It is one of the best things we have done.”

More than 3,000 daily temp jobs have been provided to Cherokees thus far, with up to 250 individuals coming in each day to be given their assignment with a Cherokee Nation program. When the program began last fall, nearly $170,000 was spent in the first six weeks. In November, the Council allocated an additional $300,000. This new funding brings the total for the program to nearly $1.2 million.

While the program is not meant to be permanent employment, it does provide a financial help to families and individuals who are actively seeking employment. Participants were also provided with the opportunity to take an employment skills class, which provided them with information and training on basic employment skills such as interviewing, attitude, writing resumes and cover letters, dressing for successful interviews and more. Nearly 200 individuals participated in the classes.

In other business, the Council passed a resolution calling for Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation Entertainment to use vendors with Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) certification for all tribal construction projects if available.

In addition, the Council voted to decrease the cost of a disabled veteran Cherokee Nation tag, voted to increase penalties for non-reporting on tobacco taxes, and passed a resolution requesting the donation of up to seven fetal monitors to the Claremore Indian Hospital.

The monitors will come from a surplus supply of monitors from Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah.

The Council also confirmed several individuals to boards of various Cherokee Nation business entities. Carlile Roberts, Rick Doherty and Ken Purdy were confirmed to the Board of Directors for Cherokee Nation Waste Management, LLC. Adolph Lechtenberger and Eddie Humphrey were confirmed as board members for Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC, and William Grass was confirmed to the Board of Managers of Cherokee Nation Distributors, LLC.