TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – The Cherokee Nation has helped more than 265 displaced workers find stable employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic began in 2020, the Cherokee Nation Reservation experienced a series of dislocated workers.

“It was essential that our Cherokee people have good quality, stable jobs to support their families during this global crisis, and these federal funds certainly had a hand in helping us to achieve this mission,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Together, we have been able to provide the necessary services and jobs to get through these hardships and help our citizens find new careers.”

The U.S Department of Labor awarded the Cherokee Nation $5.6 million in total funds to help the tribe during the public health crisis.

As a result, the Cherokee Nation established two PPE manufacturing facilities and a meat processing plant during the pandemic to create new jobs. Dislocated workers were also hired as COVID screeners and other related positions.

The tribe has used $4.3 million in funding so far for job opportunities.

“The additional $1.3 million allows us to continue the operation of this vital Restore program which has been extremely beneficial to our citizens,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “We will continue to use these funds to deliver employment, training services and jobs for our people during difficult times.”