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Growth Fund seeks trainee for accounting department

Southern Ute tribal member Esther Richards, Accounting Assistant III for Red Willow Production Co., works to process documents in the company’s Ignacio office, Monday, Aug. 12. Richards began her career with Red Willow 14 years ago, working her way up from the front desk to her current Accounting Assistant III position.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

Red Willow Production Co. is seeking a motivated individual to train in their accounting department, this is a position tailored for a Southern Ute tribal member with an interest, or background, in accounting.

The Accounting Assistant I Trainee is an 18-month program, but can be shorter with prior experience.

In the first phase of training, trainees are learning the processes of the accounting department. They focus on the foundation of accounting and taking classes, such as Microsoft Word and Excel for beginners.

In the second phase, they start utilizing Red Willow specific software programs, processing invoices and reconciling vendor accounts, while taking intermediate classes on Microsoft Word and Excel.

In the third and final phase candidates are, “Responsible for all that they have learned in I & II — they are going to be doing it,” explained Maria Baker, assistant HR manager for the Southern Ute Growth Fund. “Now they get to start developing their new skills, defining problems, collecting data.”

Currently the Red Willow Accounting Department employees four Southern Ute tribal members full time.

“It is a great work environment,” Celeste Chavez, Accounting Assistant II explained. “I learned the whole process through the training program…it is built on teamwork.”

“Of course, you have to put in the time and effort. Sometimes that means going above and beyond,” Frances Richards, Accounting Assistant III said. “We are making the move to paperless — Kristi [Sage] and I are the main ones working on it. I feel as an oil company we should be working to protect the environment.”

Once the trainee has successfully completed the program, they will move into the Accounting Assistant I position.  “It is really self-driven. This would be a great opportunity, it’s like a stepping stone to get your feet wet,” Esther Richards, Accounting Assistant III stated.

Applicants must be a Southern Ute tribal member, with a High School diploma or equivalent. They must also have six months experience in a clerical or accounting support position. This position does not require applicants to be insurable.

One of the advantages of the trainee program is that a tribal member can use their experience and knowledge gained at Red Willow to apply for jobs in the future within the Tribe’s Permanent Fund, the Sky Ute Casino or with other companies off the reservation. The knowledge base, and skill sets are transferable. “If they don’t want to stay with Red Willow for the long run, that is OK. What we are striving for is to get tribal members trained and employable — creating a career path for them,” Baker emphasized.

To see full details and application requirements — visit the tribal member only link on the Growth Fund website. The position closes on Friday, August 30.

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