Tribal Weatherization project
Launched during Summer 2019, the Tribal Weatherization Project is a collaboration between AJAY MT, the Hays/Lodgepole High School, and the Foundation for Community Vitality.
The project combines summer school credit and financial compensation with meaningful student vocational skills training, as well as benefits for tribal elders and the community at large. Hays/Lodgepole students applied for positions through written applications and interviews. On acceptance, they received hands-on training in basic weatherization techniques for residential housing. Tribal elders were encouraged to apply for this service, which was delivered by a supervised team of high school students. Participants received $10 per hour, plus benefits, and .5 credit in Industrial Arts for the four-week program. In addition, for each of the 17 dwellings weatherized, $100 was contributed to the "Pep Bus" fund, which pays for transportation of tribal members to off-Reservation athletic events–a highly valued community activity.
The project is managed directly by the Hays/Lodgepole High School. AJAY MT's initial role was to stimulate a brainstorming discussion with several tribal members about the prospect of a youth summer employment program with multiple benefits. With the concept and implementing entity agreed on, AJAY MT solicited the project funding. We are extremely grateful for the support given this innovative effort by the Foundation for Community Vitality, and others.
We look forward to expanding this program to additional tribal partners across the state.