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Day workers Raymond Valencia and Tony Andrews help pull the weeds and prepare the Salt River Baseball Field for up and coming baseball games.

New Work Program Provides Work for Community Members

By Tasha Silverhorn
Au-Authm Action News

In December 2011, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) Human Resources Department was asked by Administration to develop a day-labor program. As a result, this year the Human Resources Department’s Community Jobs Division has started the first-ever Day Work Program. The program is designed to provide short-term, daily work assignments in various government departments throughout the Community and providing payment for the workers after their daily shifts are completed. By maintaining a pool of willing workers, the program is able to provide extra support to departments who are requesting workers for the day.

“The Day Work Program is exactly what it says—you work for the day, you get paid for the day,” said Human Resources Director Robin Enos at a district meeting. “It comes in handy if a family or individual needs lunch money for their children or gas money for the week, or whatever their needs may be. We [have] dispatched out a lot of people—males, females, older people, younger people—and so far it’s been proven to be successful.”

As of January 31, the Human Resources Department had received and filled 697 requests for day labor. They invited 205 Community members to attend an orientation on the program, but so far only 136 of them have attended. The total number of Community members participating in the Day Work Program is 136.

Hiring preferences for the Day Work Program are enrolled SRPMIC members, enrolled members of other Native American tribes, household providers, and then non-enrolled individuals.

The program assists workers to enhance their job skills and build their work experience. Day workers can assist with office clerical work, covering a front desk and greeting visitors or filing, shredding, copying and answering phones. In the area of general construction, assignments include site clean-up, special events, custodial work, grounds-keeping, landscaping or gardening. Work details will vary based on the needs of the department requesting assistance.

At the end of a worker’s shift, the authorized worksite supervisor will sign a payment voucher, which must be taken to Finance to retrieve a check after 4 p.m. on the same day of the assignment.

Just like with any other job, the workers are expected to follow the Day Worker Program standards and expectations. They must perform all duties assigned and follow safety measures. There is an absolute zero tolerance for substance abuse, inappropriate conduct, arguing, physical altercations, profanity, belligerence and other severe actions deemed inappropriate. Any offense could lead to suspension or termination from the Day Worker Program.

“It’s a great program that has helped a lot financially and learning from the various jobs I have worked with. So far I have worked with Public Works grounds, cemetery, water, building maintenance crews, Recreation Department and even did some clerical work,” said Day Labor Program worker, Cecil Villalpando on how he has benefited from the program. “I learned some new things not only about the jobs I have worked, but also about the Community. Being able to work these different jobs helps for the future; when I can get a full time job with one of these areas the jobs will be familiar to me thanks to the Day Labor Program.”
Not only have Community members benefited from the program but so have departments such as the Community Relations Events who are always looking for volunteer workers to help with the Community’s big events such as the New Years Eve, Community Day, Thanksgiving, and many more.

“I have enjoyed working with Eric Schurz and the Day Labor workers,” said Community Relations Events Coordinator Yvonne Schaaf. “The Workers we have used are especially interested in the Events Area as that is what they have requested to be involved in. I have heard nothing but good things from the workers themselves in that they get paid daily and can hear about the positive comments we leave for them on their paperwork. Another plus is that all requests are made online (though the intranet) and we can submit that up to 24 hours in advance, which is great but I hate to make them rush so I submit my request as soon as I can. A big thank you to the day labor workers, you all have made a difference at our Community Events.”

Departments looking for day-labor assistance can make a request to the Community Jobs Division, and work applications can be submitted by contacting the Day Work Program by phone, e-mail or through the SRPMIC intranet page.

Interested applicants must complete the following requirements prior to being included in the rotation of day workers:
* Submit an employment application with the Community Jobs Division
* Attend the program orientation (held twice a month)
* Complete program and Finance forms
* Complete a pre-employment drug screening
If you like to be part of the new Day Worker Program, stop by the office, located at the old Learning Center building, or call (480) 362-7950.

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