Youth Work Experience

The North Fork Rancheria Tribal TANF Family Wellness implements a Youth Work Experience (YWEX) program in Fresno County and Madera County every year. The program includes a series of pre-employment workshops, work experience, summer school tutoring and a recognition dinner.


Youth will be exposed to job opportunities that will benefit their future as self-sufficient teens and young adults. Participants will be required to apply for the program and will be selected anonymously by North Fork Rancheria staff, based on their application and interview. The application will include an overview letter, a general application, a “fill in the blank” style cover letter, a questionnaire to determine their interests, and a personal statement. Following the application phase will be the interview phase, which will be conducted by North Fork Rancheria staff. Once interested participants have completed the application and interview process, and have been chosen to participate they will be required to complete a drug screening. Transportation on a set date (TBD) will be provided to youth for drug screenings. Participants may be subject to random drug screenings at the request of their employer or NFRTT staff based on reasonable suspicion.


Participants will partake in 6 weeks of paid work experience, 21 hours per week at minimum wage, totaling 168 hours of work. Participants will have the week of GONA off to allow for participation in the program and any federally recognized holidays off during the summer. Participation with the teacher will be required if the youth is not on track to graduate high school. Participants will be placed in various jobs sites in Fresno County (Fresno, Clovis, Auberry & Tollhouse) and Madera County (Madera, North Fork & Oakhurst) based on their interests and location. Job locations will be determined with participant’s interests in mind as well as job availability. Youth will participate in a pre-employment workshops and various College & University tours. Family Wellness staff and the Career Development Coordinators will conduct workshops. The curriculum will aim to expand the outlook on careers and secondary and post-secondary education for Native American youth and will create a well-rounded program covering multiple areas of importance for individual’s transitioning into or in the early stages of adulthood.


Clothing stipends will be distributed to those who complete all workshops. Staff will accompany youth to purchase appropriate work clothing on a set date (TBD). FWC’s and CDC’s will conduct site visits and will collect time sheets every other Friday. This will allow staff to check in with the employers and with the participants to address any concerns either party may have. Family Wellness staff will also meet individually with employers, at their convenience to debrief following the end of the program. Grade point average of 2.0 is a requirement for participation if student is currently in High School. Students who are at risk for meeting grade point average requirement will meet with our teacher twice per week during the duration of the program to allow for assistance with credit course recovery. If a student is in credit recovery course, work hours will be restricted to Weekends only.

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