Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency

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What is the name of your solution?

California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program

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Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Where passion meets education; livable wage apprenticeship programs for Tribal communities.

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

In recent years, California has faced unprecedented devastation due to wildfires and the damage they cause. Seemingly, the fires get more intense and break records as each year passes. In the wake of wildfires, several lives, homes, and significant landmarks (cultural and social) are brought to ashes. Due to the ever-growing critical risk of California's neglected vegetation and severe droughts, it creates the ideal fuel for any fire to grow, which in turn results in the aforementioned devastation. The apprenticeship program which is in the final states of development will teach members of the Native American community to mitigate the hazards of wildfire, as well as ensure the proper knowledge of vegetation and emergency management is passed on through education. Since this program is predominantly geared toward Native American communities, the reservations (which are located in rural areas, also known as the Wildland Urban Interface) are hardest hit because there are lack of resources and knowledge to preserve their homes, culture and way of life, all while protecting the community they live in. As to today, the only options available for Native American High School Graduates are military service, for-profit colleges with large incurred student loan indebtedness, and being placed on the welfare system/Tribal TANF.


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What is your solution?

The California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program proposes to address the need for equitable apprenticeship training opportunities, that lead directly to job opportunities in the Central Valley of California and to increased living wages to the underserved populations of the region with a focus on Native American residents.

The natural disasters of 2020 and 2021 and the COVID pandemic have particularly exacerbated the need for environmental cleanup resources and appropriate local workforce to respond to the need of their communities suffering from a devastating loss of minimum wage employment for residents already challenged by low wages and high poverty. The long-term systemic challenges, the COVID pandemic, and growing Climate Crisis, while resulting in slow economic recovery for the region, also present a unique opportunity to establish a non-traditional and innovative apprenticeship program designed to increase the accessibility of sustainable high-wage jobs and meet the needs of a historically marginalized, underserved, and untapped workforce.

Issues of equity underscore the need for improved training opportunities in the Central/Mother Lode region and is most evident in the project’s target population – Native Americans – a community whose potential as a workforce is often missed. Native Americans have battled the odds to overcome colonization, centuries of oppression, exploitation, and generational trauma to find methods to thrive and prosper without great support from the general population or government, yet if the lack of economic resilience, infrastructure, or educational opportunity can be described as urgent, dire, and distressed for the Central/Mother Lode region in general, then the challenges facing its tribal communities can be multiplied tenfold and more.

Of the hardships facing Native Americans, poverty and joblessness are paramount and can largely be attributed to the lack of employment. Across the United States, 1 in 3 Native Americans are living in poverty, with a median income of $23,000 a year (American Community Survey). At the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020, the Native American poverty rate (19.46%) almost doubled that of California’s general population (11.8%). The negative impact of the pandemic on Native Americans were compounded, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in that of the racial and ethnic minority groups at higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes in 2020, Native Americans were at highest risk. Complicating these hardships, at the same time more than 1 in 5 Native Americans were unemployed with rates of unemployment skyrocketing to 26% across the United States. Prior to COVID, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the average national Native American unemployment rate had peaked in 2010 at 15.1% after the Great Recession. This was due to the outsized impacts that changes in the economy, the loss of a number of jobs in construction and manufacturing, the decline of the minimum wage, and the increase in unstable employment has had on Native American workers. It is expected that poverty and unemployment will escalate these negative impacts as the COVID pandemic is prolonged from 2020 to 2022.

The development of the proposed apprenticeship program initiated in 2020 and significant curriculum and training competencies development has been accomplished by the program committee and submitted for registration to the State of California. At least 25 apprentices will be recruited among the tribal communities and various colleges, and registered in an occupational track. Funding from this apprenticeship collaboration will have an immeasurable impact on the tribal communities allowing for capacity building on tribal lands.

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Strong preference will be given to Native-led solutions that directly benefit and are located within the Indigenous communities. Which community(s) does your solution benefit? In what ways will your solution benefit this community?

In the local context, federally recognized tribes in the Central California region fared somewhat better with an average unemployment rate of 19.98% in 2020. Nevertheless, rates remain high and, in some cases, are devastating:

Big Sandy Mono Rancheria: 12.9%

Cold Springs Mono Rancheria: 15.4%

North Fork Mono Rancheria: 8.1%

Picayune Yokuts Rancheria: 50.0%

Santa Rosa Tachi Yokuts Rancheria: 18.1%

Tule Yokuts Rancheria: 15.4%

Skill acquisition and educational attainment are also challenges facing Native Americans. Presently, there are 32 fully accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States, however, in California there exists only one. At TCUs, 86% of students complete their chosen program of study, whereas fewer than 10% of Native Americans who go directly from reservation high schools to mainstream colleges and universities finish their bachelor’s degree.

Only 9% attain associate degrees. In addition, because Native Americans comprise less than 1% of the U.S. undergraduate population, these students are often not the focus of educational programs, even when those programs are designed serve historically minoritized students. Apprenticeship programs that target Native American populations, provide an alternative educational pathway through pre-vocational services, comprehensive student support, and hands-on-training.

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

We have already procured a Local Educational Agent, State Center Community College District, that has agreed to review our curriculum and approve it for college accreditation. The program is currently under review with the State of California's Division of Apprenticeship Standards, and is expected to be approved within the following months. In looking forward to expanding this to all Tribal communities in the United States and beyond, we have also submitted the program to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Our Executive Committee is made up of subject matter experts, Federally recognized Tribes, non-Federally recognized Tribes, minority-owned businesses, Governmental entities and agencies, non-profits, and educational institutions. 

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Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Fresno, CA, USA
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Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot
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How many people does your solution currently serve?

25 people for the first cohort; these individuals would greatly impact the environmental stability of each Tribal nation

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Why are you applying to Solve?

We believe this opportunity can provide valuable resources for our organization by providing services we otherwise would not be able to. We feel this grant can provide resources to do a lot of important work, such as address an environmental, cultural, and economical problem Tribal Communities face, capacity building, and perform academic research.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

M.K. Youngblood, COEM

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Please indicate the tribal affiliation of your Team Lead.

Haslett Basin Holkama Mono

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Is the Team Lead a resident of the United States?

Yes

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Drive positive outcomes for Native learners of any or all ages while supporting culturally grounded educational opportunities on and/or off reservations.

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More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Over the last three years, the California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program (CTUAP) has developed two apprenticeships - Environmental Science & Protection Technician (ESPT) and Cultural and Conservation Technician (CCT). These two apprenticeships would focus on FEMA, OSHA and other safety certification training courses related to natural disaster (wildfire fire & other) response and recovery, general forestry training including, but not limited to, FIRE 32/RED CARD and cultural awareness with the addition of cultural monitoring (Tribe specific and Tribe approved for Tribal member students) certification with additional classes in Archeology, American Indian Studies, and Indian Law – NAGPRA, PL 280 etc. The program would prepare students for work in waste management, forestry, natural resource management, emergency & environmental response and recovery industries and a wide variety of employer options. While this program was designed with Native Americans in mind, it is not exclusive to only that ethnicity. Anyone of any ethnicity is eligible to apply.

In addition, the program would be a postsecondary pathway by including college credit bearing classes & field work that would allow students to advance to obtain their Associates Degree and above. Additional Apprenticeship Programs are being developed under the CTUAP, which includes a pre-apprenticeship program to prepare those who need work on soft skills prior to applying for the full apprenticeship. The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) in Fresno County has signed on as our local education agency (LEA) and has a representative on our Executive Committee which drives our program.

Currently, the Executive Committee is made up of a collaboration: Federally and non-Federally recognized Tribes, 501c3 organization, private businesses, and an educational institution. We are in the process of addition more Tribes, businesses, and Government agencies. Our program is also set up to be Post 9-11 GI Bill eligible for veterans, has zero cost to the apprentice to join, zero upfront cost to the employers, provides all PPE to the apprentices and training. Continued training to keep certifications is included in the program.

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What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Sustainability and expansion of the Program is key to the ultimate and long-term success of the proposed project. This was an important consideration from the outset, especially in consideration of the challenges faced by the Native American target population, and will occur in large part via the relationships and agreements established during the grant period within the tribal community. Key relationships between the California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee (CTUAC), tribal members, tribal employers, and community colleges, will be maintained and expanded on by the projectʼs budgeted Tribal Outreach Coordinator. Funding for future trainings and outreach will be acquired through employer contributions of 20% per hour of the wages earned by each apprentice. It is approximated that each apprentice will generate from $3,600 to $8,000 per year during their on the job (OJT) training. With the goal of training 25 apprentices per year, this would be approximately $90,000 to $200,000 per year in support of future training programs. The long-term plan for this apprenticeship program is to scale up the number of trainees to 100 apprentices by 2027 and expand the program into other service areas and tribal communities. As a result, by the sixth year, it is anticipated that the programʼs training and outreach budget will grow to $360,000 and $800,000 a year, well above the initial funding available for this grant competition. The CTUAC will meet quarterly to oversee the program implementation and pave the way to future sustainability. In addition, allocated funds from the State of California Division of Apprenticeship Standards and State of California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office of Apprenticeships will allow this program to sustain itself in the subsequent years.

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Throughout the project the following data will be collected: survey apprentices pre- and post- completion to assess their experience with the program, employment status, to capture their demographic variables vis a vis their learning experiences. CAL TERRA and the State Center Community College District (SCCCD) will prepare program reports and outcome data such as coursework selection and completion. The CTUAC will convene to review program reports and outcome data. Discussion will focus on successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the design and implementation of the new programs, in particular as related to the inclusion and success of underrepresented communities. CTUAC will assemble lessons learned to inform future program delivery and to disseminate to the field. Outcome will be CTUAC meeting minutes and documentation of lessons learned from the program.

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What is your theory of change?

The California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program will give an unprecedented opportunity to Tribal communities whose only option out of high school would be enlistment into the Military, a minimum wage job, or go to a for-profit college all while creating an astronomical amount of student loan debt. The program has been written so that State and Federal certifications will be incorporated alongside traditional indigenous knowledge utilizing micro learning techniques to facilitate ease of instruction and retention of subject matter. As the apprentice completes each course, their credits can be used in order to transfer to a state college or university. The apprenticeship program is overseen by an executive committee of diverse members that are employers, state agencies, and colleges; the committee has a very strong Tribal presence as most of the voting members and employers are Tribal owned. The moto of the program is, "Earn While You Learn", which will allow the apprentices to gain real experience in the field and obtain employment by the members on the Executive Committee and allow them to gain the knowledge of environmental protection and mitigation. The field of Emergency Management would allow the apprentice to procure a livable wage and create a better economic stance for themselves, their families, and the community they live in.

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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

During the course of the Program, the use of the following technology will be present for our Instructors, Apprentices, and Program Staff:

During the delivery of their course materials, Apprentices is be using tablets, Wi-Fi, Google Docs, and a time-card application to measure the amount of hours they have invested into their program. During their field activities they will using Spot Beacons, Drones, AQI Apps, CalFire App, Weiser App, LandGlide App, and radiological devices (i.e. Ludlum), and drones.

Instructors will be using micro course formats via Zoom, and Virtual Classes will be conducted with the use of an Owl Pro or Logitec camera, Smart TV and Zoom platform.

Program staff will use Google Docs, Microsoft Office, Social Media Platforms, and a standardized grading system. 

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Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Ancestral Technology & Practices
  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • GIS and Geospatial Technology
  • Robotics and Drones
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • United States
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In which states do you currently operate?

  • California
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In which states will you be operating within the next year?

  • California
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Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Nonprofit

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How many people work on your solution team?

Full-Time = 4, Part-Time = 8, Volunteers = 3, Consultants = 4

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How long have you been working on your solution?

2 Years

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What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Vision

California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program envisions a vibrant community where people of underserved communities are guided to a path of success and self-sufficiency by being presented with an opportunity to gain access to skills and knowledge that could propel Tribal and Non-Tribal individuals into better economic well-being in the State of California.

Core Values

Our core values define our organization culture by guiding how we operate and make decisions which impact the diverse community we serve.

  • Accountability: We take responsibility and ownership for our words, doing what we say we will do. 
  • Collaboration: We build and foster strong relationships with community partners, donors, volunteers, and advocates. Without them our work is not possible.
  • Compassion: We approach our work with empathy, understanding, and respect.
  • Continuous Improvement: We seek excellence by striving to improve our processes to be more efficient, client-focused, relational, and simple.
  • Discipline: We do what is best, rather than what is easy or comfortable, to achieve our desired outcomes.
  • Integrity: We act with incorruptibility, moral character, and honesty.
  • Stewardship: We wisely and responsibly manage the resources entrusted to us through the generosity of others.
  • Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. They are more than just words; they are inside of us. They are personal core values. They are understanding and empathy for all people. It is a daily practice within our organization and those who cross our personal and professional threshold.
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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency is the parent company for the California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program. This business model applies to both agencies. 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Business Mission

California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency (referred to from hereon in as the "Company" was established as a Non-Profit Organization with the expectation of rapid expansion in the first responder industry.

California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency, also known as CAL TERRA, is a professional organization dedicated to providing outstanding service. By providing a safe environment for people to live, work and play on Turtle Island, North America, by providing a quality response in: fire prevention and protection, law enforcement services and support, and EMS; all the while maintaining a level of training to provide the best assistance to Tribal and non-Tribal peoples alike.

Business Description

The Company was formed on 10/15/2011 as Non-profit Corporation under California state laws and headed by M. K. Youngblood.

CAL TERRA has assisted on numerous major fires in California including the following: Tubbs, Coffey Park, Camp,Carr, Detweiler, Corrine, and Kincade Fire. In addition, we have mutual aided during Hurricane Harvey, drought relief in the Central Valley of California, and security details for Fresno City College events.

The Organization and Management

As a 501(c)(3) Organization, California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency is headquartered in the City of Fresno, California. The organization was founded by and is currently overseen by M. K. Youngblood. 

Youngblood has extensive experience in Emergency Management and First Response for over twenty years.

The oversight of California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency consists of the Board of Directors, the Chief Officer of Emergency Management (who also serves on the Board of Directors), and Command Staff. The Board of Directors, the Chief Officer of Emergency Management, and Command Staff will be taking hands-on management roles in the company. The Company currently employs 1full-time employees and 1 part-time employees.

New Service

California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency is prepared to introduce the following service to the market:

Training of First Responders: A first responder is a person with specialized training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, natural disaster, or terrorism.

When a catastrophic incident occurs, the nation calls on its responders to save lives and protect property. Emergencymanagers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, public health officials, and emergency medical technicians (EMTsroutinely perform their duties with heroism, dedication, and courage. These traits alone, however, cannot guarantee a successful response. To help achieve positive outcomes under extraordinary conditions, responders must have the capabilities to progress from a willingness to perform to being equipped to succeed.

II.  BUSINESS SUMMARY

Industry Overview

In the United States,  first responder industries presently make $500,000,000 dollars in revenue. Research shows thatconsumers in this industry primarily focus on the following factors when making purchasing decisions: Quality of training, value of training, feasibility of attendance, reciprocity of certifications

Legal Issues

The Company affirms that its promoters have acquired all legally required trademarks and patents.

Target Markets

The Company's major target markets are as follows: Local, State, Tribal, and Federal departments

The estimated number of potential clients within the Company's geographic scope is 3,000,000.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

·       The ability to train in all realms: Local, State, Tribal, Federal

·       Federal certifications

·       Knowledge and information exchange

·       Increased collaboration across various organizational and corporate entities

·       Complex and varied training scenarios

·       Increased safety for high risk training

·       Trainee engagement

Weaknesses

  • Lack of Tribal funding 
  • Investment costs
  • Training is expensive without financial backing
  • Technological barriers
  • Lack of multi-user fidelity

Opportunities

·       Increase interaction with Tribal community

·       Will create communities that will become self-sustaining in an emergency situation

·       Cause and effect on environmental and humanitarian issues

·       Preparedness tools

·       Increase resilience against adverse effects

Threats

·       Without adequate training, staff will be ill equipped do deliver quality services

·       Potential personal injuries from improper use or lack of strong knowledge of equipment

·       Obstacles for collaboration among various Tribal Communities

·       Worsening of overall net-effects of training

·       Adverse effects of engagement simulation

Services

First-rate service is intended to be the focus of the California Tribal Emergency Response & Relief Agency (CAL TERRA) and a cornerstone of the brand's success. All clients willreceive conscientious, one-on-one, timely service in all capacities, be they transactions, conflicts or complaints. This isexpected to create a loyal brand following and return business.

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Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
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What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Sustainability and expansion of the Environmental Science and Protection Technician (ESPT) and Cultural Protection Technician (CPT) Apprenticeship Programs are key to the ultimate and long-term success of the proposed project. This was an important consideration from the outset, especially in consideration of the challenges faced by the Native American target population, and will occur in large part via the relationships and agreements established during the grant period within the tribal community. Key relationships between the California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee (CTUAC), tribal members, tribal employers, and community colleges like Reedley College, California State University – Fresno, will be maintained and expanded on by the projectʼs budgeted Tribal Outreach Coordinator. Funding for future trainings and outreach will be acquired through employer contributions of 20% per hour of the wages earned by each apprentice. It is approximated that each apprentice will generate from $3,600, to $8,000, per year during their on the job (OJT) training. 

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Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

The CTUAC will meet quarterly to oversee the program implementation and pave the way to future sustainability. In addition, allocated funds from the State of California Division of Apprenticeship Standards and State of California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office of Apprenticeships.

With the goal of training 25 apprentices per year, this would be approximately $90,000, to $200,000, per year in support of future training programs. The long-term plan for this apprenticeship program is to scale up the number of trainees to 100 apprentices by 2027 and expand the program into other service areas and tribal communities. As a result, by the sixth year, it is anticipated that the programʼs training and outreach budget will grow to $360,000, and $800,000, a year, well above the initial funding available for this grant competition. 

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Solution Team

  • Katina Mamigonian Director of Human Resources, California Tribal Unilateral Apprenticeship Program
 
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