Workforce Development

The Workforce program is committed to empowering the Pascua Yaqui Tribal members to reach their fullest potential and improve their quality of life through employment and training services.

Adult and Youth Services

It is the mission of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Workforce Office to provide quality employment and training services to constituents of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe service delivery area by aligning forces with economic development, workforce development boards, corresponding services providers, educational institutions, and employers to ensure that participants are employed in well-paying jobs with progressive career opportunities.Although it places a special emphasis on high-demand jobs, the program is cognizant that participants have varying skill levels, talent, or capacity. Therefore, the program shall attempt to identify hidden talents and/or determine if the participant has the skills and qualifications to successfully complete a specified technical training course or succeed in a highly skilled job.

Workforce Development Challenges

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has a very young population with about 50% of the total population on the reservation under the age of 31. The Pascua Yaqui Reservation demographics indicate an extremely high proportion of children, with nearly 5,000 of our members under the age of 18. Unfortunately, our level of educational attainment is not on par with other communities, with only a 41.3% high school graduation rate, about half of the State of Arizona’s graduation rate, as well as extremely low rates of undergraduate and post-graduate/professional degrees. Currently the Yaqui community experiences high rates of unemployment: five times the rate of Arizona. Several sources (AZ DES/Department of Commerce) have identified the unemployment rate at 20-24%, well above the state and national averages. The business climate on the Reservation is limited, with the majority of local employment opportunities within the government or two casinos that the Tribe currently operates. These two casinos serve as a basis for economic development throughout the community, employing hundreds of tribal members and contributing large amounts of fiscal resources to the local marketplace in the form of purchased goods and services. However, private businesses are extremely limited on the reservation and the Workforce Development office has enlisted other means of finding employment opportunities for our tribal members living on and off the reservation in the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas.

Provide Services in a Manner that is Sensitive to Pascua Yaqui Cultural Needs:

There exists, for a large segment of the Pascua Yaqui community, an apprehension about utilizing services provided by governmental entities outside of the reservation. Many are apprehensive due in part to the “cultural divide” that exists between Native and dominant society. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe will initiate a project design that introduces a bi-cultural approach in its plan to ensure that both the participants and employers understand differences in cultural value systems to affect positive change in the workplace, and that the outcomes will be a win-win situation for both the participants and the employers.

Placement Strategies:

  • The Workforce Development Department will work with participants that are seeking job placement and/or have completed training.
  • The assigned Counselor will guide participants through the job placement/seeking process.
  • The Counselor Case Manager will also assist participants to find the employer that best suits a participant’s chosen field and the personnel need of the employer.
  • The Job Developer/Counselor will notify participants about appropriate opportunities as they become available.
  • In order to develop training programs that target high growth industries, the Workforce Development Department must evaluate the economic and industry trends in varying service areas, correlate the forecasted trends with the most suitable training, and monitor occupational applications.
  • Workforce Development will then identify employers who require skilled employees and match the participant to the hiring employer.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe will continue to provide core Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) services. Employment preparation and financial assistance services to disadvantaged Tribal members will be comprised of the following:

  • Eligibility determination Assessments
  • Case management
  • Outreach services
  • Career counseling
  • Soft skills training
  • Job preparation assistance
  • Information and referrals to various vocational schools and institutions of higher learning
  • School preparation assistance
  • Job referrals and other labor market information
  • On the job training
  • Work experience training
  • Linkages to other programs and services
  • Youth employment programs
  • Maintain and develop new relationships with workforce centers and network with similar agencies
  • Assist employers by preparing and providing skilled and qualified workers
  • Provide training and employment services to youth ages 14-24
  • Provide intensive services only when all other resources are exhausted and participant has been unable to succeed due to market conditions beyond his/her control