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Wed November 6, 2013
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Smyrna Based Counselors Provide Job Assistance to Native Americans

Credit naiatn.org

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The Smyrna based Native American Indian Association of Tennessee is working to bring down the native community’s high unemployment rate.

There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Tennessee, but the Association says there are more than 17,000 full-blooded native people living in the state, along with another 42,000 of Native American heritage.

Virginia Pamplin is a case manager with the Native American Indian Association. She’s helping Tennessee’s native people find work in a difficult job environment.

“One out of four Native Americans drop out of High School, and only 13 percent have any kind of college degree. So it’s a pretty intense problem. And you know, in this economy, it’s hard to get a job if you don’t have some kind of training or credential.”

Pamplin says the  Association provides career counseling, job placement assistance, and classroom training. The program is funded through a federal grant.

November is Native American Heritage month, a time to celebrate the cultural heritage of the more than 500 tribes residing in the United States.