With the success of its Nemangkawi Mining Institute program in Papua, Indonesia, and its long-standing partnership with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Freeport-McMoRan brought a similar training program to San Carlos.

July 15, 2019

The San Carlos Training Institute started a new session Monday, July 8, 2019, and the Nnee Bich’o Nii Transit drivers were on hand to welcome the students on their new adventure. Nnee Bich’o Nii Transit has been providing transportation to students since the training institute began in 2013.

Tina Harney and Sam Phillips stood before a large group of people to talk about the transit service Nnee Bich’o Nii provides for the SCTI students. They distributed small packets outlining the rules and regulations, as well as a bus schedule.

Included in this packet was a payroll deduction form. The students who choose to take advantage of this service pay $60 per month, to and from class every day from the Bylas community, which is approximately 50 miles away from the campus.

Currently, there are 121 students enrolled in the program, and 49 of those students use the transit service every day. As of June 2019, 648 tribal members have graduated from the training institute. Since Nnee Bich’o Nii has been providing transportation for the SCTI students, it has averaged 50 students per session.

SCTI has been a part of the San Carlos community since 2013 to provide technical training in the mining industry for the tribal members. However, for many community members, SCTI remains somewhat of a mystery.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (formerly Phelps Dodge Inc.) has had a long-standing business relationship with the San Carlos Apache Tribe beginning with the construction of the Black River Pump Station in the 1940s.

In 2003, Freeport-McMoRan implemented a training program in Papua, Indonesia, because it was difficult to find employees willing to work in such a remote location. A solution to this problem was right in front of them: seven indigenous tribes that lived around the Grasberg Mine. They started the Nemangkawi Mining Institute to provide technical training needed to work in the mining industry. As of January 2019, that institute has graduated 2,100 students, and 90 percent of the Grasberg Mine is employed by local Papuans.

With the success of that program and the long-standing partnership with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Freeport-McMoRan brought that training program to San Carlos. Freeport provides hands-on training in heavy equipment; fixed plant operations; and maintenance, electrical and instrumentation and welding.

In addition to the technical training, the students also receive valuable lessons in life skills, preparing them emotionally for their journey into the future. The Nnee Bich’o Nii Transit provides reliable, affordable transportation for the SCTI students so they can receive training to help them find employment in the local mines.

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