Workforce Development – CIMC

Leadership: California Indian Manpower

Graduates of the CIMC 2014-15 Leadership Training for Entrepreneurial/ Small Business/ Economic Development. (Photo: Carol Jennings)

Seeking to foster a private sector-based workforce and leadership class among the tribal nations it serves, in 2001 CIMC launched its “Native Entrepreneurs: Creating Opportunities in Our Communities” program. Aimed at cultivating “the skills of Native entrepreneurs to be profitable and sustainable in the larger context of Native culture and sovereignty,” the program trains would-be and existing Native small business owners to start or grow their own businesses, thus expanding the number of job opportunities available to other Native people. Its rigorous curriculum – featuring 200 total hours of coursework and homework – teaches marketing, day-to-day operations, financial management, and human resource management. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be formally endorsed by their tribal government or CIMC staff; those selected emerge with carefully designed and thoroughly vetted business plans to launch or expand their businesses. More than 450 people have completed the program to date, with many returning to take leadership roles as program faculty members. As CIMC explains, “the majority of graduates contribute to economic growth of their respective tribal communities in their business choices.”

CONNECT: Teresa Marie Willson, Native Entrepreneur Training Program, CIMC,


To learn more about CIMC’s workforce development story, click on the resources below.

California Indian Manpower Consortium
CIMC: Native Entrepreneur Program
CIMC: Native Entrepreneur Training Flyer
CIMC: Native Entrepreneur Training
CIMC: Workforce Development Program Field Offices 2017
Native Entrepreneur Training Graduates
CIMC Native Entrepreneur Graduation Banquet 2017 (video)