Haskell Indian Junior College will become a regional training center for the U.S. Department of the Interior, drawing up to 2,000 federal employees a year, the college president said today.
"It's a real opportunity to showcase Haskell," said Haskell President Bob Martin.
Martin said Haskell was picked for one of five training center sites because of its resources and location.
The new Departmental Learning Center primarily will train employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but also will be available for other interior department employees, he said.
The Interior Department manages, conserves and develops the nation's natural resources. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is under its jurisdiction.
He said a $250,000 grant from the BIA would pay for the first operational year of the center, which should begin training in March.
MARTIN SAID he hoped the center could be self-sufficient after the first year of operation through the tuition of employees enrolled in programs.
The center will be managed by Sharon Condon, instructor and chair of Haskell's humanities department, who has been with the school about six years.
``The most important benefit for Haskell will be the public relations that comes of it,'' Condon said. ``People from all over the United States will be coming here.''
The training center will be in the college's administration building, Navarre Hall.
The center will offer training in ethics, computers, labor relations, supervisory performance appraisals and total quality management, Condon said.
"THERE WILL be workshops and seminars of varying length," Martin said. "We might have one program for a week where we bring in 60 people, and then we may bring in a smaller group for a longer period of time."
Martin said he believed the center would serve interior department employees from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska, and would serve BIA employees from around the country.
Martin said federal and Haskell officials have discussed locating a regional training center at Haskell for about two years.
"A number of people at the Bureau if Indian Affairs have wanted it," he said.
PLANS FOR the center were completed after Fred Nims, chief of the development and training division of the Interior Department, visited Haskell last year and was impressed by its facilities, Martin said.
The Interior Department has 77,000 employees in 13 bureaus.
Its other regional training centers are in Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; and Washington, D.C., Condon said. She said another was slated to open in Alaska.