Day support and vocational services added at Easter Seals Goodwill ND in Jamestown
The Jamestown office is located at 2633 8th Ave. SW
Thousands of businesses across North Dakota are struggling to fill open positions. Some have closed lobbies to focus on drive-thru service; others have reduced open hours of business to prevent staff burn-out and stock the shelves.
Easter Seals Goodwill ND (ESGWND) Inc. is working to fill the gap by offering new day support and vocational services at its Jamestown regional office located at 2633 8th Ave. SW. ESGWND helps people supported find jobs.
One of six dual-brand organizations in the U.S. with affiliation to two national organizations, Easterseals Inc. and Goodwill Industries International Inc., ESGWND’s corporate office is located in Mandan. It has regional offices in Jamestown, Minot, Dickinson, Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks.
Its mission of supporting individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible is fulfilled through the collection and sale of donated goods at Goodwill retail stores across North Dakota. The revenue generated is used to help fund programs that support people with disabilities and their families, provide job training and provide employment placement services for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience or face employment challenges.
Licensed through the North Dakota Department of Human Services, ESGWND expanded its day support and vocational services to the Jamestown area in September after experiencing success in its first two locations in Minot and Fargo. Easter Seals Goodwill ND completed construction in January 2020 of a new facility to meet the needs in the Jamestown community. Due to the emergence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the program was put on hold until September 2021.
With day support services, people with developmental disabilities (i.e. persons supported) and their team including parents, guardians and program coordinators meet to assist in developing a program based on individual interests and preferences. This program encompasses all aspects of employment, volunteerism, prevocational skills, recreation and leisure activities. Community-based, these services will occur in and around the Jamestown area.
Offering an authorized Community Rehabilitation Program through the Department of Vocation Rehabilitation, ESGWND is a nationally recognized leader in employment services. Staff assist people supported with developing resumes, filling out applications, searching for jobs and providing on-the-site job coaching.
Derek Hanson, ESGWND director of day and vocational services, said the goal is to increase a person’s skills so he or she can gain independence and grow in opportunities.
“Sometimes the skills and abilities of a person may not be apparent and need to be identified, developed and focused on the right opportunity,” he said.
Once a person has been authorized to receive Vocational Rehabilitation services and chooses ESGWND to provide them, Employment Services Program staff can offer individualized supports. This encompasses all aspects of employment, from assessing job interests and locating jobs to obtaining and maintaining employment.
Confidentiality is a key part of the ESGWND’s business, and protecting the privacy of people supported is paramount. Hanson described an experience about a person supported who had violent behavioral issues with another provider.
“When he started using our services, he was still having behavioral issues. He was staffed one-on-one and required constant visual supervision. He had never had paid employment,” Hanson said.
He said the individual has been with ESGWND for three years and has secured paid employment, almost no behavioral concerns and no longer requires constant visual supervision.
"It was because of the supports he received and his hard work; he learned how to better identify and control his emotions, focus more, and developed skills to become more independent," Hanson said. "This individual now has a job with duties and expectations, and he leaves work at the end of the day feeling a sense of accomplishment that trickles to other areas of life. These are the types of things we accomplish through our programs in Minot and Fargo, and what we are now offering to the Jamestown community."
For more information, contact Hanson at 701-839-4121, ext. 301.