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Contractor: tribal hiring working well


Using the Colville Tribal TERO office as a hiring headquarters is working well, according to officials on the Grand Coulee Dam School District’s new K-12 school project.

A report by Walker Construction to the school board showed that through June 14, 73 percent of hours worked so far on the school project were worked by Native American workers.

The report made to the school board was affirmed by Roger Easling, construction manager for the Wenaha Group, a firm that follows the project for the school district.

TERO (Tribal Employment Rights Office) is acting as a hiring hall for both “key” man and “apprentice” needs.

One report stated that Mill’s Electric, a sub-contractor on the project, might be able to get all of the employees it needs through tribal hires.

TERO assesses contractors a 5-percent fee on construction within the boundaries of the Colville Indian Reservation and requires contractors to give Indians preference in hiring. The Tribes waived the fee, saving the school district over a million dollars, and developed a hiring hall where the general contractor, Walker Construction, or a sub-contractor could seek qualified workers from the Tribes.

Workers apply at the TERO office at the Colville Indian Agency near Nespelem. Indians get preference on jobs they are qualified to fill.

Easling said that everyone is happy with the performance of workers who have been on the job.

In cases where union membership is required, all those hiring out of the TERO office have to join the respective union.

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