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Eleven SRPMIC Apprentices Receive Journeyman License

Members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council celebrate Community members receiving their journeyman apprenticeship certificates on Aug. 12.

Eleven Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members have received their journeyman apprenticeship certificates in computer and carpentry, and two others were honored as Outstanding Apprentice of the Year.

The 13 were recognized on Aug. 12 at the sixth annual Apprenticeship Recognition Luncheon at the Casino Arizona showroom. Each received a glass plaque for their achievement. Gifts were also given to the 11 new journeymen.

Paula Garcia, Ashley Harvier, Erica Harvier, Matthew King, Elvin Whiteman, Jazmin Valencia, Isaac Frederick, Ellyse Andreas and Adrienne Bustamante received computer journeyman certificates, and Michael Thomas and Dwayne Ludlow received certificates in carpentry.

Penrose Fulwilder Jr. was named Outstanding Apprentice of the Year 2016 in carpentry and Otivia Puhuhefvaya was named Outstanding Apprentice of the Year 2016 in computer operation.

“My hat [is off] to each one of you who completed this program,” SRPMIC President Delbert Ray Sr. told the luncheon crowd. “The families that are here are going to benefit from [this accomplishment], not just ending at the paycheck, but just the experience of your family member in what they bring and add to the tribe, because all of us are a part of it. When one succeeds, we all succeed.”

Almost all Council members were attendance, along with many Community employees. About 100 people attended the nearly three-hour event.

Fifty-five other apprentices were also recognized at the luncheon, and each received a gift.

Sasheen Castaneda, desktop services manager for the SRPMIC Information Technology Department, received her computer journeyman certificate in 2003 and was a guest speaker at this year’s luncheon. She has worked for the department for 15 years and has been promoted three times, she said. In 2014 she earned her bachelor’s degree, and she is now halfway through her master’s program.

“Our department has been really supportive of our educational goals,” Castaneda said. “I was able to take my education leave during work hours if I couldn’t take classes at night. I’ve really enjoyed my time working for the department.”

Community Employment Manager Crystal Banuelos gave special acknowledgement to the eight-member Apprenticeship Committee, which included a glass plaque.

Robin Enos, SRPMIC human resources director and member of the Apprenticeship Committee, praised the growing Apprenticeship Program.

“You can see it sprinkled throughout the (Community) government with students,” Enos said. “It’s a program that the Community is very blessed to have.”