Readiness Capability Assessment
ORCA is a program to help Alaskan Native communities assess their E-readiness to be successful using Internet access and local talent to attract telework jobs and contact (call) centers from the Federal Government as well as major corporations. A program developed by American Indian Sourcing, www.AmericanIndianSourcing.com
Recognizing the Need for Community “Tech-Learning” Programs
Beyond using the Internet for creating jobs in Alaskan Native villages, there are major opportunities for building social networks between villages through peer-to-peer sharing, accessing unlimited educational opportunities, learning multimedia cultural expression skills, and building self-esteem and Native pride.
Village ecommerce, telework and Internet self-employment may prove to be the best way to reverse youth out-migration and to supplement and preserve subsistence lifestyles.
The challenge that fiber optics and high speed Internet access presents to Alaskan Native villages is how best to create an entrepreneurial culture and a 21st century workforce by developing ecommerce, telework, and call center opportunities.
With your help, we would like to work with you to develop the following promotional strategy to attract sustainable, decent-paying jobs from major U.S. corporations.
The Outsourcing Readiness Capability Assessment Process:
- Make a head-to-toe review of a Village’s capabilities, manpower, education, employability and readiness to see business brought there.
- Deliver a series of workshops and planning sessions to document the goals of the community and determine the best practical scope and scale of selected projects
- Conduct initial technology, political, and workforce E-readiness assessments.
- Perform an educational needs analysis to develop a customized community learning program focused on “ready to hire” technology and interpersonal skills
Establish a Community “Tech-Learning” Program
- Establish a community skills database to market to corporations to attract contact center jobs (including call centers), telecom auditing and other such “Back Office Functions” that can employ Native talent.
- Interview for and develop a community volunteer mentors’ roster to facilitate the acquisition and sharing of newly developed skills – and build self-esteem in the process.
- Expand workforce training into e-learning enablement and applying tribal culture to work employing the Internet and/or Telecom.
- Create a community success story which demonstrates inclusion of all citizens.
Establish a Coherent Marketing and Sales Program
Deliver and train for a workable and coherent marketing and sales program so that the tribe can aggressively and more effectively sell their core services to America’s businesses
Call Centers as Anchor Tenants for Community Internet Enablement Programs
For Alaskan Native communities which have Internet access but don’t have a dedicated and community wide vision and/or the skills required to benefit from web-enabled employment, attracting a call center as an ideal anchor tenant for a Community Wellness (tech-learning) center is imperative. As a One Stop mentoring center providing training and support for IT entrepreneurship, such a center could develop and promote media production, cultural expression, and elearning. As example, in Europe many sustainable technology centers have achieved economic sustainability through telework.
In addition to call centers bringing jobs to Native American communities, there are additional opportunities for generating successive entrepreneurial skills ranging from entry-level Ebay and ecommerce and telework self-employment. It will be the purpose of any such center to provide distance learning services, the foundations for cultural entrepreneurship, the how-to’s of multimedia production, and more.
It is important to note that any such center will not be an “overnight success.” Many adults fear technology while at the same time most youth eagerly embrace it. This generational divide can be reversed if everyone has the opportunity to understand the opportunities the technology makes possible via informal community training programs focused on fun and social-based learning. Such community tech-learning programs will prove to be the best way in which to reverse youth out-migration while at the same time supplementing and preserving your preferred Native lifestyle.
The cultural tensions between Native cultural priorities for functioning as a sharing community versas individual entrepreneurship are resolvable. Bill Yellowtail, a Crow leader and former Montana state legislator argues for “Indian sovereignty – the autonomy of the Indian person:”
Bill Yellowtail calls for a ''circling back to the ancient and most crucial of Indian values - an understanding that the power of the tribal community is founded upon the collective energy of strong, self-sufficient, self-initiating, entrepreneurial, independent, healthful, and therefore powerful, individual persons. Human beings. Indians.''
What does it take to succeed in this fashion? What is the role of ORCA?
It can build the case to prove Alaskan Village Telework CAN be Cost Competitive
We’ve determined that there are multiple factors to setting a competitive wage price point to establish not just a modest single call center – but a competitive business growth path for all concerned. However, it will require creativity and negotiation, i.e., to attract jobs Native Organizations can offer corporations many incentives:
The tribe might cover costs for health insurance
Perhaps workers don’t need health insurance because they are already covered by federal or Native Corporation health programs?
The village may cover costs for office space
Many existing facilities can be made available for use for call centers.
Monies can be made available for training
The Tlingit and Haida, as example, shared they have $5 million in federal funds for training. Could this be the tip of the iceberg regarding available federal funding for helping Alaskan Natives? There is a congressional mandate for dramatically more federal telework jobs. More at www.telework.gov
Federal Program Funding Sponsorship
Are there federal or Native Org. (8a?) programs and/or subsidies which might cover expenses for housing workers, paying for training, or covering other costs, such as expensive satellite Internet?
ORCA offers an opportunity to Alaskan Native villages to create jobs by assessing and promoting their:
Technology E-Readiness – Assess what Internet access, computers, and work places currently exist, or are needed, to enable telework opportunities.
Political E-Readiness – In the past, tribal politics and other political institutions have often inhibited innovation and the creation of business and job opportunities. Harvard University has produced a number of on-target publications clarifying how Native institutions and communities can become “politically enabled” to attract real business and job opportunities.
Workforce and Educational E-Readiness – not everyone understands or possesses the soft-skills required to keep a job. And not everyone wants a regular job – noting the common preference for the subsistence lifestyle. But, there are many who would value a regular income, particularly if they can work from their village year around.
There are also entry-level rural Ecommerce opportunities by which someone trained to use the Internet can maintain his/her freedom and independence, such as selling Native art and crafts via Ebay. This, in itself, can lead to learning about successively greater opportunities to earn an income using the Internet.
Alaskan Native opportunities center on education.
The more education workers have, the greater their potential wages. And, using the Internet to become self-employed, perhaps beginning with Ebay, can lead to ongoing learning regarding successively greater opportunities.
The more education and support your people have access to, the better their chances for realizing the better telework and Ecommerce opportunities.
- Alaska has 19 identified Ebay powersellers focusing on Alaskan Native Art.
Functional Ebay skills can be taught in a 1-3 day workshop.
- Alaska has many rural Ecommerce websites focused on selling Alaskan Native art. A free ecommerce web site can be created in less than an hour. A web tour of Alaskan Native art web sites is at http://lone-eagles.com/akecom.htm
- Several Alaskan Native corporations have already won major 8(a) contracts from the federal government for local telework jobs focused on document digitizing.
- More and more Alaskans are learning how to become independently self-employed in order to live wherever they choose.
New web-based tools offer establishing a global voice, multimedia cultural expression, and the opportunity to establish social networks between communities through peer-to-peer sharing and accessing unlimited educational (e-learning) opportunities.
Many Native Americans need to learn business basics, business finance basics, workforce soft skills, and how to develop and market their employability skills. A one-stop community information and training center is a model to consider which is quite viable given broadband Internet access.
American Indian TV, www.AmericanIndianTV.com
is working with Neulion Corporation, www.neulion.com , which has an IPTV model with an Mpeg-4 decoder set-top box requiring a minimum of 700kb access. Although this would appear to severely limit the potential market, particularly in rural Native American communities, there are solutions.
Fletcher Brown, communications director for DRS Technical Services, has installed 60+ rural satellite systems in Alaskan Native villages using state-of-the-art new technologies developed in partnership with the department of defense. (Email: email@example.com )
His model makes it possible to simultaneously multicast IPTV programs on a nightly basis anywhere in North America. Other new capabilities integrated into his systems make state-of-the-art distance learning and remote telework quite viable and include VOIP, two-way video, and sophisticated distance learning and content management features.
All that is needed to receive IPTV and distance learning programming is a small satellite dish, their Mpeg-4 decoder, and a local server with capacity for 1000 hours of video (server costs only $1500.) Such programming can then be distributed locally at very low cost at 100 meg speeds via open source community wireless mesh systems. And, locally produced video, audio and other multimedia content can be distributed back through the multicast system with outstanding cost efficiencies.
IPTV as Potential Solution for Sustaining Native Cultures and Communities
Google's 1.6 billion dollar acquisition of http://youtube.com is only the tip of the iceberg for a global wave of new IPTV businesses. In short, anyone-to-anyone niche TV channels are becoming viable via Internet. The potential for tribal communities is the opportunity to share private cultural content among tribal members located anywhere in the world, and also to share cultural content commercially with non-Natives as a way to teach about Native culture, values, and lifeways. The potential for using IPTV as a global voice for transnational activism, such as promoting solutions to global warming, are growing dramatically.
We're limited only by our collective imaginations and our ability to use these powerful new tools wisely.
Here are just a few free newsletters and blogs on IPTV: