Wednesday, February 07, 2018
On Monday, February 5, 2018 Andy Wells shared a message of encouragement and hope with Oak Hills students and staff. As a Native American child, Andy Wells survived from the land with his family in a one-room house in the Red Lake Nation. Growing to an adult in a poverty community, families survived by helping each other; but Andy also saw many social problems created by a shortage of education and high unemployment, especially for those who had personal challenges in life. In 1989, Andy made a career decision to get out of his comfort zone, resign from his teaching career, and begin helping his community economically live beyond survival so they could transition into thriving. Therefore, at the age of 45, Andy became an entrepreneurial employer with a mission of providing jobs and self-supporting income for unemployed families in his community. To begin, Andy used an old garage and his life savings of $1,300 to form a new manufacturing business called Wells Technology. As his business grew, Andy became aware of the many disadvantaged people who had applied for jobs, but did not meet typical qualifications. Rather than turn away individuals who were unprepared for employment, he began providing basic job training to help challenged people prepare for industry and employment. By 2005, the job training program Andy founded had grown into a non-profit 501-c3 corporation called Wells Academy Inc. Andy’s mission at Wells Academy is to create a more inclusive employee staff by providing job training and character development. Wells Academy has become innovative in providing marketable industrial skills, technical knowledge, and positive life values. For his success with both Wells Academy and Wells Technology, Andy has received numerous prestigious state and national awards in recognition of his leadership in building a better America.