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Oneida Business Committee honors Economic Support team

Government Administrative Office

Government Administrative Office

The Oneida Business Committee (OBC) formally honored the Governmental Services Division’s Economic Support team during the regularly scheduled November 30, 2022, OBC meeting. The OBC was proud to conduct this recognition as part of their Broad Goals of Health and Safety, Housing, Food and Agriculture, Education, Culture and Language, Revenue Generating, and Government Roles and Responsibilities.

The Economic Support team was recognized for their steadfast resilience in developing more than a dozen new programs to obligate the more than $76 million in federal and state funds received by the Oneida Nation since March 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new programs were developed above and beyond the team’s normal job tasks with assistance from the Digital Technology Services team, but without the benefit of added staffing support. The Economic Support team met these challenges head-on with critical thinking and a true team effort approach.

The implementation of these projects required meticulous step-by-step procedures and the processing of many thousands of applications, and for a time the already understaffed Economic Support team was also tasked with answering a high volume of payment status phone calls. During the team’s implementation of 2021’s General Welfare Assistance Program, online system issues occurred due to the high volume of applicants, prompting the team to put moccasins on the ground at Oneida One Stops, the Oneida Library, and Elder Services for two weeks to provide members with personal application assistance.

CARES Act and ARPA funding projects were set up for the Child Care Development Fund which assisted with YMCA memberships, laptop reimbursements, and other childcare needs for kids up to the age of 13. A Quarantine Relief Assistance Program provided a small subsidy to assist members in need of additional funding who missed work or lacked the full-time status due to COVID-19 quarantine policies. The team also put together Quarantine Care Boxes containing essential cleaning and sanitation products which they went so far as to conduct porch drop-offs for those in need.

Another Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund payment was developed for members in need, leading to 272 more families benefitting from a one-time grant to assist with device reimbursements, internet assistance, meat from the Oneida Nation Farm, cleaning supplies, and clothing. The team is currently developing an American Rescue Plan Act stabilization program to provide even more assistance to the Oneida Nation.

A traditional Honor Song was performed for the team and each was gifted with a package from the Oneida Cannery. For their unwavering dedication to the well-being of the citizens of the Oneida Nation, the OBC recognized the following current and past employees of the Economic Support team:

Brooke Beltran, Administrative Assistant;

Sean Powless, WIOA Job Counselor;

Kimberly Ninham, Intake Coordinator;

Margo Kruse, Community Resource Manager;

Andrea Frayre, Community Support Case Worker;

Candace House, Community Support Case Worker;

Mary King, Community Support & TANF Case Aide;

Melissa Staub, Childcare Lead Specialist;

Skye Fraire, Childcare Case Specialist;

Barbara Metoxen, Economic Support Manager;

Justine Huff, Economic Support Specialist;

Linda Summers, Economic Support Specialist;

Wendy Haack, Economic Support Specialist;

Michelle Doxtator, Economic Support Specialist;

Jessica Vandekamp, Community Education Center Manager;

Jean Webster, Administrative Assistant;

Elizabeth Sauer-Pries, Community Education Instructor;

Hodazha Pidgeon, Community Programs Coordinator;

Delia Smith, Community Resource & Economic Support Director.