Coalition Responds to Contractors’ Input

In roundtable discussions with contractors about how to increase housing stock on South Dakota’s reservations, contractors have shared some of the obstacles to residential building, including the lack of inspectors and work-ready employees.  In response, our Physical Issues Committee is working to support efforts to increase the number of certified inspectors, and designing a summer internship program for building trades students at Oglala Lakota College to work directly with contractors.

In January, the Coalition held a two-day training to support contractors, TDHE staff, and other nonprofit housing staff in preparing for the inspector certification exam.  Thirty seven participants completed this training, and will be taking the certification exam.  We wish them luck!

Through the construction internship pilot program, up to twenty students from Oglala Lakota College will spend ten weeks this summer working directly with contractors on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Reservations. The internship will provide the opportunity for students to develop relationships with contractors (leading to potential employment in the future), and gain hands-on work experience.  The program will also incorporate financial education and workforce readiness training for students.