Business Development Programs

A workforce survey was conducted by the Ponca Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO) in October/November 2015. The primary purpose of the survey was to assess the workforce needs of Native Americans within the Ponca Service Area and, from this assessment, establish a framework for PEDCO to provide opportunities that encourage the individual progress of Ponca Tribal members who choose to pursue their own business opportunities.

Survey results were used to inform creation of PEDCO's Virtual Tribal Business Development Center (VTBDC).

TBDC Service Recipients.  (Who will we provide services to?)  The survey responses indicated that tribal members from many tribes are located within the Ponca Service Areas.  This indicated that PEDCO should include the capacity to provide services to Ponca Tribe members and other tribes’ members within its Tribal Business Development Center services.

TBDC Services Menu.  (What services will we provide?)  Survey results identified a wide range of career field and training interests of respondents, which indicated a need to create a variety of options for career development.  The top survey response regarding career interest was Business Management and Administration, which supported the need for creation of a VTBDC. 

Clearly, one organization alone would likely not be able to meet the career development needs of all Tribal members.  However, providing a combination of web-based training courses, workforce training opportunities, and trainee/internship programs would meet the basic educational and experience requirements for entrance into many of the career field interests identified by survey respondents

TBDC Service Provision Method.  (How will we provide services?)  The geographic distribution of Ponca Tribe members is daunting in terms of providing direct, on-site services, particularly for a small organization such as PEDCO, which has very limited funding and personnel.  In addition, even if PEDCO had the financial capacity to operate four or five physical locations (Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk, Sioux City, Niobrara), we would still not be providing services to a large percentage of the Ponca Tribe members and other Native Americans within its service areas.  A virtual format for providing services related to owning and operating a business and workforce training was determined to be the most cost-effective way for PEDCO to offer comprehensive services to the maximum number of tribal members.

The Workforce Survey is in the planning stages, to be updated in Summer 2022.

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