American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center (AIOIC) was formed in 1979 to address the growing unemployment rate of urban American Indians. In Minnesota, most of the urban American Indian population lives in Minneapolis or neighborhoods of St. Paul. However, because we are a culturally-focused organization, AIOIC has always strived to serve those from the entire metropolitan area and actually serves many from reservations across the five-state area and beyond.
Unknown to most, Minneapolis has one of the highest urban American Indian populations in the county. Many live within the vicinity of Little Earth, which is a low-income housing unit owned by American Indians. It was built to support the growing Native population who either chose or were forced to relocate to the Twin Cities during the 1950s.
During the 1960s and 1970s, programs to address personal and family issues began to develop on Franklin Avenue. Faced with discrimination and a surging unemployment rate, AIOIC was created to increase job training and placement opportunities for people seeking an alternative to poverty. Since that time, AIOIC has built an organization that offers dynamic education programs, career training, and employment services that help people find meaningful professions to obtain economic independence.
AIOIC’s participants are a mix of individuals with varying degrees of academic histories and work experiences so our programs are designed to meet the student at their skill base and move them forward. AIOIC has woven a set of programs that allow a unique path with room for advancement for people at just about any level of academic success.
In order to remain relevant, AIOIC continues to monitor employment trends and identify gaps in the workforce that can be addressed through short-term training. Our school has spent the last ten years developing extensive, high-quality health care programs for individuals at just about any skill level. In addition, the organization has created Information Technology training programs, such as Computer Support Specialist, as well as the Business course Public Relations Specialist. Both started in December 2011.
AIOIC has also spent years developing several nationally-recognized employment services programs. At our meeting with Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis in 2011, we were able to share how effectively our employment services place graduates and job-seekers. Over the last couple of years, AIOIC has more than doubled our job placement numbers – even during a time of such high unemployment.
In the summer of 2012, AIOIC changed the name of it’s School of Business and Office Technology to Takoda Institute. The name of our high school also changed to Takoda Prep. To read more about the name change click here.