The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs announced a major new partnership with three other businesses Sunday afternoon.

BATC’s First Alliance Employment Services has partnered with Site Energy, Hugh Munro Construction and Helios Construction with the goal of creating more jobs for its membership.

Sweetgrass First Nation Chief Lori Whitecalf says First Alliance Employment Services has far exceeded expectations since its startup about four years ago.

“Our initial goal, mandated by the chiefs, was a five per cent decrease in the first year to social assistance,” she says. “We surpassed that through Ed’s group within the first year a reduction of social dependence by 17 per cent.”

Whitecalf adds First Alliance is all about removing obstacles to gainful employment.

“Sometimes it is transportation, so we’ve provided transportation. Sometimes it’s lack of tools, ‘I don’t have the proper boots, I don’t have the proper safety wear,’ but we’ll buy that for you.”

The announcement took place at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.