Department Of Labor

Government    Executive Branch    Labor

Mission Statement
The Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Labor will provide job skills training opportunities for Ho-Chunk members and employees to promote a sustainable workforce.

477 Program


To be eligible for assistance through this program, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The applicant must live in one of the 39 counties served by our 477 Program.
  2. The applicant must be a member of a federally recognized tribe or must be able to show proof they are a direct descendant by showing their birth certificate along with proof of parent’s enrollment in a federally recognized tribe.

In addition, the applicant must have at least one of the following conditions apply:

  1. Be unemployed for seven (7) days or more; or
  2. Have worked for the same employer for six (6) months or more with little to no chance for promotion or advancement; or
  3. Need retraining because of a bona fide notice of impending layoff with little opportunity of rehire in the same or equivalent occupation in the labor market; or
  4. Have an identifiable and correctable barrier to obtaining long-term employment or advancement.

Service Area

Our program has a 39-county service area in Wisconsin.

Eau Claire
Fond du Lac
Green Lake

La Crosse

St. Croix


What to Bring & Services

What to Bring to Your Intake:

  • Tribal ID
  • Driver’s License/State ID/Social Security Card/other form of I.D.
  • DD-214(if applicable)
  • Address Verification(if different than ID)
  • High School Diploma/HSED/GED
  • Resume (if you don’t have one, you will be able to create one)

Intake appointments are available Monday-Thursday, 8:00am-4:30pm. Staff will be in the office Fridays from 8:00am-4:30pm for questions only as Fridays are set aside for office duties.


Limited Term Training (LTT) Program:
The intent of the LTT program is to provide training experience in a work setting.

Youth Vocational Exploration (YVE) Program:
The youth component is a training program that will primarily be assisting those participants who are working towards their GED/HSED/High School Diploma with gaining experience in a work setting.

Classroom Training (CRT) Program:
The intent of the CRT program is to provide classroom training to increase employability in their field of interest.

Supportive Services:
Our program is able to provide various supportive services to our clients, but in order to do so, the client must be enrolled prior to starting employment.

If there are any questions or concerns regarding the 477 Federal Program, please contact the 477 Federal Staff at the contact listed above. We are in the office from Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.


Lois Behrens – Federal Programs Director
Stormy Perry – 477 Case Manager
Curtis Redbird – 477 Case Manager

Training and Workforce Development

The Tribal Workforce Training & Development Division’s mission is to assist the Nation in recruitment and retention, success planning, training and development programs for tribal members.


  1. Must be enrolled in a Federally Recognized Tribe: TWTD will adhere to the Ho-Chunk & Native American Preference referenced in the ERA.
  2. Must be at least 18 years of age or a participant in a Ho-Chunk sponsored Summer Youth Program.
  3. Must register with the Ho-Chunk Nation 477 program if unemployed.
  4. Must register with the Ho-Chunk Nation TWTD program.
  5. Must complete and sign a payback agreement.
  6. Must provide any documentation that may be requested by TWTD to determine eligibility for the program or services.
  7. Must exhaust all other avenues of services prior to coming to TWTD and bring copies of all denial letters.

Service Area

We work with tribal members throughout Wisconsin and outside of Wisconsin.

What you need to bring to your intake

  1. Tribal ID
  2. Driver’s License
  3. Letter of Hire (if recently hired)
  4. Two week work schedule
  5. Resume (if not working)
  6. Any certifications/diplomas/degrees you have obtained

Supportive Services

We offer supportive services to clients who have recently accepted an offer of employment and will be starting work shortly or had just started work.  These services cannot be provided once a client has received their first full paycheck or have taken another placement with no gap in paychecks.

Note: Supportive Services will only be taken care of on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.  No exceptions. 

Training Assistance

Assistance to obtain training or classes that are necessary to improve the employability or to help maintain employment or advancement may be available through TWTD.  Note, any travel requests must be made at least 10 days in advance of the training being requested, this follows Advance Travel requirements.  Any trainings that are requested in less than 10 days will not be approved.

Educational Requests

TWTD can assist clients in attaining a Technical Diploma – this is a one year program, any programs that are 2 years or more must go through the Ho-Chunk Nation Higher Education Division. 

Clients must provide the required documentation:

  1. Submit a copy of the Program Specific Acceptance Letter
  2. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  3. Submit a billing statement from the school
  4. Submit a class schedule from the school
    1. Must have the School Name, Student’s Name, # of credits and academic term on the schedule
  5. Must submit an unofficial transcript at the end of each semester and it must be stamped by the Registrar to be accepted.

Continuing Education Units – CEU’s

Assistance for CEU’s may be provided if it pertains to the client’s employment where it is needed to either (1) maintain employment or (2) provide an opportunity for advancement in current employment.

  1. A letter will be required from the employer stating that these CEU’s are required to either maintain current employment or that it will provide the opportunity for advancement to another higher paying position.

The following requests for assistance will not be considered

  1. Car Insurance
  2. Lunch Assistance
  3. Relocation Assistance
  4. Housing Assistance
  5. Car repairs


Julie Rodriguez – Tribal Workforce Development Manager

Leland Bird– Tribal Workforce Development Case Manager

Vacant – Tribal Workforce Development Case Manager

All emails can be directed to the TWTD email:

Phone calls can be directed to the Department of Labor office (715) 284-5877

Safety Divison

The purpose and mission of the Division of Safety has four distinct objectives:

  1. To save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of every man and woman employed by the Ho-Chunk Nation.
  2. To maintain a healthy and safe workplace through compliance with current tribal, state and federal standards, regulations, and codes.
  3. The department exercises its compliance efforts through:
    • Safety inspections and audits of all Nation facilities and workplaces.
    • Oversight and training in areas of workplace safety and public safety.
    • Investigation of employee and tribal member complaints and issues as they relate to occupational safety and health.
    • Conduct compliance training as requested.
    • Reduce accidents rates and workers’ compensation costs within the Ho-Chunk Nation.
  4. Reduce and control general liability costs and litigation for patron/public injuries sustained on Nation Properties.

Occupational Safety and Health

The goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Section is to maintain a healthy and safe work environment through compliance with current tribal, state and federal standards, regulations, and codes. It exercises compliance efforts through:

  • Safety inspections and audits of all Nation facilities and workplaces.
  • Investigation of employee complaints and issues.
  • Conducts training as requested for compliance with all state and federal mandated safety training.
  • Reduce and control general liability costs and litigation for patron/public injuries sustained on Nation Properties.

Small Business Assistance and Training

Division of Safety offers training and compliance information on Federal OSHA and State of Wisconsin Safety requirements free of cost to members of the Ho-Chunk Nation for start-up or established small business ventures.

Emergency Management

The goal of the Office of Emergency Management is to ensure the Ho-Chunk Nation prepares for and responds appropriately to events of natural or manmade disaster, and to facilitate and foster a working relationship and partnership between the Ho-Chunk Nation and the multitude of county and state agencies that provide services to the Nation’s Tribal members and properties. The Emergency Management Coordinator also provides staff administration for the All-Hazards Mitigation Plan, Emergency Response Plan and associated Emergency Support Functions.


Emergency Management Coordinator
Kevin B. Scholze

Occupational Safety and Health Officer
Jeff Skinner

Occupational Safety and Health Officer
Greg Bird

Elder Community Work Program

The Elder Community Work Program shall safeguard the interest of the Nation’s most valuable resource: Ho-Chunk elders.  The elder participants will be treated with utmost respect in reasonable positions they desire at safe work environments, keeping in mind Ho-Chunk elders’ health and well-being.

Participant Eligibility Requirements

  • Enrolled Hocak tribal member
  • 62 years or older
  • Unemployed
  • Able to work up to 20 hours/week
  • Able to commit to the job up to 12 months

Participants are placed in jobs according to their individual interests.  Elders can be placed into one of the four available areas:

  1. Hocak Language, Culture and Traditions
  2. Teaching arts and crafts
  3. Personal Care Providers for Elite Elders and Disabled Veterans
  4. Elders Connecting with Youth

Additional training will be provided as needed and available.

For more information, contact the Department of Labor at (715) 284-5877 or