Education | Opinion

Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker. Photo from Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker thanks young interns for working at tribal enterprises over the summer:
Many college students headed back to school this past week, and for many Cherokee students, they’re carrying back some real-world knowledge, thanks to the Cherokee Nation. We play a vital role in growing a well-trained and talented Cherokee workforce through summer internships programs at Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses. This helps our bright and talented young people to apply their academic knowledge in a real-world setting.

Internships provide obvious benefits for students. They gain professional skills, enhance communication skills, start a professional network and analyze possible career tracks. While the internship programs are important for Cherokee youth, they are equally important to our tribal government and businesses. By offering programs for educational and personal growth, we build an empowered citizenry and a stronger tribe. To me, that is real hope for a better future.

Our interns get a comprehensive education on the Cherokee government, our businesses and Cherokee culture. We match up a student’s area of interest to their specific summer experience, whether it’s in health care, government or a business. Learning in a classroom environment is wonderful, but experiencing real workplace scenarios is priceless.

Between Cherokee Nation and CNB, almost 70 students completed a summer internship in 2014. They are all Cherokee citizens. Many of them have been able to convert to full-time employment after completing an internship. At CNB, about 25 percent of interns transition to full-time employment with the company.

Get the Story:
Bill John Baker: Notes from the Chief: Internships at Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses build bright futures (The Native American Times 8/26)

Join the Conversation