The Nnee Bich’o Nii program was awarded the 2017 Tribal Transit Competitive Projects Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the amount of $48,675 to construct a wash bay and storage facility for the Apache Transit buses. The Nnee Bich’o Nii program was able to match the 10 percent required by the FTA in the amount of $5,408 bringing the total of the project to $54,083.
The Nnee Bich’o Nii’s Construction and Maintenance program provided the crew to begin construction in May of 2019. This program provides on-the-job training for the Nnee Bich’o Nii participants that have been selected by their Employment and Training Counselors. They receive an hourly wage provided from funding through a Community Development Block Grant awarded to the Nnee Bich’o Nii program.
Anthony “Bunny” Henry, Maintenance Supervisor, oversees the program and training of the participants. The staff consists Mike “Chubby” Kitcheyan, Lynn Key, Mike Sisto, Jimmy Dean and Kenny Kenton. Mr. Kenton was a former trainee that was hired on to the program. They are skilled and experienced in all areas of maintenance and construction and serve as both instructors and mentors for the Nnee Bich’o Nii participants.
In this project, the participants learned to set the forms for the concrete pour and cure the concrete. They installed the metal frames for the storage facility and installed the siding and chain link fence.
They worked as a team and completed the project in August 2019.
Three months seems like a long time to complete this project, but the Construction and Maintenance crew also accepts projects to help community members remodel their homes. During those projects, the trainees learn to install dry wall, electrical wiring and about plumbing.
The grant also included the purchase of a commercial bus wash system. The transit drivers will be trained on how to safely operate and maintain the machinery.
Planned training is set for next week.