250 jobs

October 2006, CUJ

PENDLETON – Cayuse Technologies, a new outsourcing business on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, could employ as many as 200 to 250 people over the next two years in a brand new, state-of-the-art technology facility on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

“This is the biggest thing for CTUIR since the Casino,” said Tribal Economic Development Director Bill Tovey. “We always knew that the Casino was just the first step for the tribes and that we had to expand and keep moving. This new company takes us in a whole new direction that is really building for the future. And not just us- the entire region will benefit too.”

The CTUIR Board of Trustees announced the formation of Cayuse Technologies Oct. 5. Tribal members were informed of employment opportunities at the new company in a Sept. 13 letter from Antone Minthorn, chairman of the Tribes’ Board of Trustees. Cayuse Technologies, which is the first company to locate in Coyote Business Park, will provide technology services to governmental and commercial clients, offering digital document processing, software development and a call center.

The company is owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and will be operated through a management agreement with Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company that employs more than 133,000 people in 48 countries. Accenture operates more than 40 centers, in the United States and around the world that are similar to the new Cayuse Technologies facility.

The Tribes have been working behind the scenes for months with local, state and federal officials to procure support and funding for the project. The state has invited an application for a loan/grant package to support infrastructure, building, and training costs associated with the project, said Don Sampson. USDA Rural Development has awarded funds to the project, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration has invited an application for support of the project.

“We’re responding to the tremendous demand among Accenture clients for lower-cost outsourcing services performed by professionals within the United States, and Cayuse Technologies will help fulfill that demand,” said Accenture Managing Director Randall Willis, an Oglala Lakota tribal member. “Cayuse Technologies also complements Accenture’s efforts to build and maintain a global workforce that mirrors that of its clients. We take great pride in our workforce, as Accenture employs diverse groups of people from different backgrounds, with a vast range of skills and experience.”

CTUIR will begin construction on the 40,000 square foot building this fall and will lease it to Cayuse Technologies when it is complete. Cayuse Technologies won’t wait until the building is done to begin operations, however. Plans call for hiring the first 15 employees by the end of October, and Accenture will start the training in temporary facilities. Accenture will provide initial equipment, training, and marketing for the company.

A second round of hiring will occur later this year with additional employees added to work in temporary facilities until building construction is completed. Tribal officials say wages will depend on the position and qualifications as well as the types of contracts procured. Experienced technical and managerial employees will find wages competitive for the region, and training opportunities will ensure that advancement opportunities are available for people who start at the entry level. Cayuse Technologies expects wages to range from about $18,000 per year for entry-level help desk employees to more than $100,000 per year for experienced managers.

According to Tovey, “Our management agreement with Accenture is really designed to lay out a win-win for both of us. Accenture gets a U.S.-based delivery center to service its clients from. We get stable job opportunities with real advancement and earning potential in an industry that does not exist on the Reservation right now. This agreement will help us work with Accenture and grow into the management of the company over time. We hope to be able to operate this company successfully on our own and obtain SBA 8(a) status in the future. This is another step the Tribes have moved to diversify from gaming.”

Like other private corporations, CTUIR-owned Cayuse Technologies will have a board of directors. The new five-member board will include three directors appointed by the CTUIR Board of Trustees: Armand Minthorn, William Tovey and Mae “Koko” Hufford. The two remaining seats will be filled by external directors appointed by Accenture.

This story originally appeared in the CUJ. The Confederated Umatilla Journal is the monthly newspaper of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon.