Cass Lake-The Leech Lake Tribal College will be breaking ground on a new building come spring semester.
The 40ft x 100ft building is the result of a grant from the American Indian College Fund which asked colleges to come up with innovative ways to up student retention. LLTC Director of Assessment and Institutional Research Helen Zaikina-Montgomery, and Instructor Rochelle “Rocky” Carpenter partnered on writing the grant for the building, with the idea in mind to provide upcoming carpentry students a safe place to work year-round while being able to gain hands-on experience.
The build project entitled “Giwaakaaigemin” project or “we build” in English will begin spring semester. The building is a chance to leave a lasting legacy at the college, and Zaikina-Montgomery said this was one point she highlighted while writing the grant “every time students will go by the college, they’ll know they were a part of that history.”
Carpenter says the school is now looking for students to enroll in the carpentry program to participate, and that the program has special grants in place for women who are interested in trades that can cover both tuition and rent.
“This project is unique. Students will research, design, and build this training facility together. They’re going to get to see firsthand all of the changes that have happened to the construction industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The students who participate will have a leg- up in the workforce come graduation,” said Carpenter.
Community members and students who are interested in participating in this project are encouraged to register for LLTC’s Spring Semester and enroll in the carpentry program. You can visit the college at 45 Little Wolf Rd NW, Cass Lake, MN from 8am-4:30pm or call (218) 335-4200.