Career Pathways Initiative

Arizona - Tucson Indian Center


Tucson Indian Center. Part of Nineteen Tribal Nations Workforce Investment Board.


The Tucson Indian Center’s (TIC) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program serves urban, off-reservation Native Americans living in metropolitan Tucson. There are approximately 15,832 American Indians. For American Indians living in Tucson, 7,131 (47%) are in the labor force (U.S. Census, 2000). The majority of clients who come to the Tucson Indian Center are from the Tohono O’odham, Pascua Yaqui, and Navajo tribes.

On average, the typical client is at or below poverty, is unemployed or under-employed, lacks a significant work history, and moves back and forth to/from the reservation. They face a unique set of barriers when compared to other Tucson residents.


The TIC NAPOPN team expects to improve, strengthen, realign, and/or enhance them through the participation in the Pathways Out of Poverty Training Institute through better coordination, strategizing, and implementing how TIC with local employers, Pima Community College, and the two (2) local tribes (Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Tohono O’odham Nation) can strengthen education and occupational training opportunities for low-skilled Native Americans in Tucson.

  • Explore, develop, and recommend a sound strategic plan on strengthening educational and occupational training opportunities for low-income Native American adults in the Tucson area; Including objectives on:
    • Areas of educational and occupational training opportunities (Asking: What are the future labor market needs and employment trends? // Will these training opportunities benefit your organization? How? // Do we have Native Americans in these training opportunities currently? Why/Why not? // What is the current training completion rate? // Why is training not completed? What are secrets of success? // What cultural needs/differences do we need to take into account? // How can we turn our cultural strengths/values into assets in training and employment?
    • Means of education (Specifically, Are the current venues [community colleges, universities, trade schools, on-line education] equipped for future training opportunities for jobs in demand? Why or why not? // Do Native Americans use these venues? And, are they successful in completing? Why or why not? // What alternatives are there? // What works?)
    • Support for training endeavors (For instance, what does a Native American training need in order to complete a training activity? (e.g., Housing, Food, Child care, Transportation, Income coming into the Household, tuition, books, equipment, internet access, and a thorough assessment) // What resources/services do other team members offer? What are the requirements/restrictions? Limits? // What other resources/services can be accessed locally?
  • Networking, sharing, and working together with other Pathways Out of Poverty grantees (Best practices & are these best practices feasible for Tucson?).
  • Policy review (Team contentions with local, tribal, state, and national policy that promote or prevent training opportunities. What can be changed? How?)
  • Feedback from Issue Experts (Is the team’s plan feasible? Applicable? Replicable? Culturally-appropriate? Culturally-sensitive?)
  • Next Steps The TIC NAPOPN team would like to know if we are on the right track and what are the next steps for the Initiative Grantees?


  • Health field —Medical billing Coding/Pharmacy Technician/ Medical Assistant
  • Hospitality — Casinos...Resort…golf resort…Spa
  • Green Collar construction field


None at this point.


  • Jacob Bernal, Executive Director, Tucson Indian Center
  • Veronica Boone, Social Services Director, Tucson Indian Center
  • Dorothee Harmon, Employment & Training Coordinator, Pima County One Stop
  • Dr. Johnson Bia, President, Downtown Campus Pima Community College
  • Greg Madril, WIA Director, Pascua Yaqui Tribe WIA Program
  • Patrick Andrews, Education Director, Tohono O’odham Nation Education & One Stop
  • Ms. Keyna Gutierrez, Director of Human Resources, Desert Diamond Casino (Employer)
  • Ms. Michelle Wiltshire, Human Resources Partner, University Physicians Hospital (Employer)
  • Cody Lee Juan, One Stop Division Manger, Tohono O’’odham Gaming Enterprise
  • Art Eckstrom, Deputy Director of Workforce Devleopment, Pima County One Stop


No URL provided.


Veronica Boone, Social Services Director
Phone: (520) 884-7131 ext. 216