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Thursday April 9th 2020

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Takoda—All Are Welcome

Adapting to Needs

By ERIN WOLF, Takoda Institute

Students at Takoda Institute. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAKODA INSTITUTE

Takoda, previously known as the American Indian OIC, was founded in 1979 in response to the damaging education and employment disparities faced by Indigenous people within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Since its foundation, the organization has grown a workforce of over 25,000 through its culturally-relevant education, training, and workforce programs. Each year, over 900 people, affiliated with tribal nations in the U.S. and Canada, utilize the OIC’s services. Though the OIC was originally founded to strictly serve Native Americans, it has since opened its services and programs to people of every race, creed, gender, age, ability, or sexual orientation. Hence the name “Takoda”, which is a Lakota word meaning “all are welcome”.

Takoda offers a wide array of services to those who qualify, such as: assistance with applying for public grocery assistance (SNAP), case management services for clients who participate in the Minnesota Family Investment Program, and re-entry services for youth and adults who are looking for a second chance. Takoda offers a wide variety of short and long-term career-based trainings that will help gain students employment after graduation. Among its long-term programs, Takoda offers a Computer Support Specialist program and Patient Services Specialist Program. Both of these long-term programs are designed to earn students a career in a high-demand field.

Some of the short-term programs include Customer Service & Sales Training, Warehouse and Equipment Operator programs, and a wide range of IT and Computer Literacy classes. Each programs offers transferrable college credits upon completion.

Takoda is located in the Seward Neighborhood, on the corner of Franklin and Cedar Avenues at 1845 East Franklin Ave. While short-term classes are taking place on a monthly basis, the spring quarter for Long Term classes start April 13th.

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