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Expanding the Tribal Technical Assistance Program is critical to Native transportation infrastructure

NCAI 2011 (National Congress of American Indians, “SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS HEARING: Oversight hearing on tribal transportation: Paving the way for Jobs, Infrastructure, and Safety in Native Communities,” Sep 15,

The Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) is the only technical assistance program that provides much needed transportation related education and training to tribal governments for transportation road projects. Education and certification is important to assist in building a viable tribal transportation work force. In addition, having well qualified skilled workers enables Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages to further develop tribal transportation infrastructure.

There are currently seven TTAP centers located around the country. TTAP is funded by both the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Currently, each TTAP receives $280,000 a year in total funding, which is comprised of $140,000 from the Local Technical Assistance Program and $140,000 from the IRR program. This totals about $1.9 million for the overall TTAP funding each fiscal year to serve all 565 federally recognized tribes.

To ensure that the TTAPs are able to meet the increased demand for their services and as additional tribes assume responsibility for administering their own transportation programs, NCAI recommends Congress to have the U.S. Department of Transportation institute a TTAP for each of the twelve BIA Regions. Additionally, NCAI recommends an increase to the overall funding of TTAPs from $1.9 million to $4.2 million each fiscal year. This much needed funding will assist each TTAP center to adequately address the increasing need for transportation technical assistances.

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