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City Partners with National Indian Youth Council to Increase Native American City Employment and Career Pathways

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, August 29 – The City of Albuquerque and the National Indian Youth Council launched an exciting new partnership today to increase Native American participation in the City’s workforce by placing participants from NIYC’s Employment and Training Program within City departments as paid interns.

The partnership is part of the City’s broader equity and inclusion effort, which focuses on addressing racial disparities in order to achieve equity across all populations and indicators, including employment. The new effort is stewarded by the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, and is supported by the City’s Human Resources Department. The initiative also addresses one of the Office of Native American Affairs objectives: to increase opportunities for Native American job seekers.

“The public sector is a critical source of good jobs with benefits for people in Albuquerque, and we are working hard to ensure that our city workforce is representative of our city population,” said Michelle Melendez, Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. “Work experience programs like NIYC’s help applicants get their foot in the door and we are grateful for the partnership.”

The National Indian Youth Council, a national nonprofit headquartered in Albuquerque with field offices in Gallup and Farmington, administers a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program, funded by the U. S. Department of Labor’s Division of Indian and Native American Programs. NIYC’s program assists unemployed, underemployed, and economically disadvantaged Native Americans that live in off-reservation communities across the state find meaningful and gainful employment.

One way NIYC does this is by placing eligible individuals in internships at worksites where they gain valuable work experience while developing and identifying their long-term employment and career goals.

“One of our main goals is to connect our job seekers with a wide array of job opportunities. The City currently employs around 5800 people and is currently hiring everyone from landscapers to teachers to accountants. We are happy to be a part of the effort to help ensure the City’s workforce reflects the urban Native population community it serves,” said Tina Farrenkopf, NIYC’s Executive Director.

The City recently appointed a full time Native American Affairs Coordinator, Dawn Begay, and a tribal liaison, Terry Sloan; expanded the Commission on American Indian/Alaska Native Affairs from 5 to 15 members, including six appointed by tribes bordering Albuquerque and by the All Pueblo Council of Governors; and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission as part of its efforts to build relationships with sovereign tribes and serve urban Native American populations more effectively.

Organizations interested in partnering with NIYC as an internship site, and individuals interested in applying for NIYC’s program, should call (505) 247-2251, or visit the NIYC website to learn more: