Cherokee Nation leaders have officially broken ground on a $10 million, state-of-the-art Career Readiness Campus southwest of Tahlequah.
The Career Readiness Campus will be the home of the new Cherokee Nation Building Trades Program and will provide space for expanding training opportunities in the construction field such as electrical, plumbing, masonry and HVAC. The campus will also house the tribe’s high-voltage lineman training program and fiber technician training program among others.
“Career training for Cherokee citizens must be every bit as valued as a college education. We have put over $30 million toward that effort since 2019 and now, this new funding marks another major education investment,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “With this new career readiness campus, we’ll continue to work with our partners in the region in career tech centers, but we will now have our own facility for some of our unique programs, in turn helping improve citizens’ lives and employability. This will make our communities and our Nation stronger.”
"We truly believe the most powerful thing the Cherokee Nation can do for Cherokee citizens is to provide them a platform for achieving their own goals and dreams. We do that through our Education Department by providing scholarships and other services for those who choose the higher education path. But not all Cherokees want to take that path, so investing in career training is just as important,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “In Northeast Oklahoma and all around the country, many of the fastest-growing industries are in skilled trade that can be both lucrative and sustainable over the long-term.”