November marks Native American Heritage Month: Native American construction on the rise

WOBO thanks ICC and Richard for their news and article in respect of the Native American Heritage Month.

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Richard Hauffe is a senior regional manager for Government Relations of the International Code Council whose region includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. He is a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Before starting with the Code Council in April 2011, he had been involved in non-profits, fundraising, political campaigns, polling, and research and marketing. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from S.D. State University and worked nine years as a reporter and photographer on a daily newspaper. He is also a former ironworker.

November marks Native American Heritage Month: Native American construction on the rise

From 1886, when Mohawk men signed on for construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge in Montreal to the New York City “sky walkers” who worked on practically all of the city’s major construction projects — including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Madison Square Garden, and the first World Trade Center — Native Americans have been involved in construction for generations. In fact, today’s construction industry accounts for the largest employment in Native American enterprises at 53.3 percent, or 24,062 workers. Recognizing this symmetry, November was designated as National Native American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 and proclamations have been issued each year since.
During November, the International Code Council wants to shed light on the culture and heritage of these remarkable Americans who have stepped into the trade and deeply enrich the quality and character of our nation and our built environment. Many tribal governments have found that the enforcement of building codes is empowering to tribal governments and has served as a cornerstone to growth but having the resources to adopt and enforce codes with professionally certified inspectors has been a difficult goal to achieve. This month, we’re featuring a profile on the Gila River Indian Community — which has been a trailblazer among Native American jurisdictions with the adoption and enforcement of construction codes — and its innovative Building Safety Apprenticeship Program that matches seasoned professionals with potential building inspectors so they can reinvest themselves in the community where they grew up. You can read more on this program in the Building Safety Journal feature below.

Gila River Indian Community building inspectors set a new course with apprenticeship program

It’s more than a job. It’s a calling for building inspectors to reinvest their talents and provide safety and economic security to more than 14,000 tribal members living on the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) reservation just south of the Phoenix, Ariz., metro area.

The Gila River Indian Community has been a trailblazer among Native American jurisdictions with the adoption and enforcement of construction codes. The GRIC members trace their roots back centuries ago to the Hohokam, a prehistoric people who lived and farmed along the Gila River Basin. The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, a 13th-century four-story pueblo built by the Hohokam southwest of the 372,000-acre reservation, stands as testimony to the community’s heritage of building construction.

Its first building codes were adopted in the mid-1960s and have been the foundation of a growing economy well served by new construction.  See more…..

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