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Kenaitze Tribe –– A growing economic force on the peninsula

Last week’s Job and Career Fair presented by the Alaska Job Center saw hundreds of Central Peninsula residents attending, hoping to find that perfect new job. There were also a score of presenters, that ranged from military recruiters to healthcare and from carpentry to seafood processing.

Gloria Rhodes was one of the recruiters attending the all-day event at the Soldotna Sports Complex. She works for the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, which has been on a steady growth curve in the past decade.

“Yes, we have the new Dena’ina Wellness Center, which is a community health center for the tribal members for Alaska Natives and American Indians, so that’s a new center. We also have the Tyotkas Elder building, and we are continually growing and we are continually expanding so it’s exciting.”

Because of all that expansion, Rhodes said at the job fair that the tribe was hiring for quite a few positions.

“So, we are recruiting for several positions. We actually have a new grant for our Early Childhood Center, and are recruiting for nine new positions. We have a family services department we’re recruiting for. We have seasonal hires, as far as tribal education assistants to work on our setnet. And we have other provider jobs; we’re looking for a nurse case manager and a physician and a nurse practitioner, so we have a lot of opportunities.”

With all of that expansion and several hundred people under payroll, Rhodes agrees that the Kenaitze are becoming a major economic factor in Kenai.

“I think that we are. We have excellent benefits. I think the benefits of working for the tribe are pretty phenomenal. We have comprehensive medical, dental and vision, and excellent benefits package as far as paid time off and extended sick leave and retirement, 401k. So we have just a wonderful culture as well, so it’s a really good place to work, it’s family-oriented, rich culture. It’s a great place to consider employment.”

We’ll have more on the Job and Career Fair on this week’s Econ 91-9, which can be heard on Friday at 9 and 5.

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