Aanjibimaadizing offers education and training opportunities


Classes coming to Districts I, II, and III

The Aanjibimaadizing program is partnering with Pine Technical College to bring some great educational and job training programs to our communities — Commercial Driver’s License training in District III, Certified Nursing Assistant Training in District II, Auto Technician Training in District I, and Career Exploration/Small Business Certification in District I.

The partnership developed through a Pathways to Prosperity grant from the State of Minnesota. Pathways to Prosperity was developed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to make Minnesota more competitive by meeting the common skills needs of businesses and individuals.

Working with Pine Tech made sense because the school had already reached out to Aanjibimaadizing to pursue a partnership.

According to Aanjibimaadizing Executive Director Tammy Wickstrom, the courses were chosen because they can help Band members develop skills in professions that have been in high demand.

“Even with coronavirus, there is still a need for people to make deliveries, to drop off their supplies for school children, to staff nursing homes and care centers, and to maintain vehicles,” said Tammy.

In addition, CDL, CNA, and auto tech jobs are great stepping stones to more advanced — and more lucrative — careers. A CDL Class B license can lead to Class A; many Certified Nursing Assistants move up to become Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses; auto technicians often advance to more specialized auto repair professions.

The Career Exploration/Small Business class is perfect for those who are unsure what type of training or education to pursue. The Career Exploration part of the class will help students determine their interests and strengths, and the Small Business portion will provide an overview of what it takes to start and run a small business.

A long-term goal of the Aanjibimaadizing program is to build an auto maintenance facility in District I where trainees can learn auto mechanics by helping to maintain vehicles owned by the tribe or Band members.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Tammy. “It can be hard for people to travel long distances for education, but with this program Band members can get a start on a good career while staying close to home.”

To sign up a class, you’ll need to be enrolled in Aanjibimaadizing, which is open to Band members, descendants, and community members from other tribes. If the classes don’t fill, they may be opened up to others. Call Karen Pagnac at 320-362-4139, or email karen.pagnac@millelacsband.com.

If you’re already enrolled with Aanjibimaadizing, you can speak with your case manager.