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North dakota

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Meet Josh

Workforce Challenge

Josh has a degree in arboriculture from an Iowa school. He loved the work of trimming trees and being in the great outdoors; however, it’s seasonal work with little work in the winter.

Josh decided to switch careers to electronics. He started at one college, but struggled with his grades due to a learning disability. Vocational Rehabilitation assisted him in preparing for an electronics career.

Workforce Solution

Josh contacted the Bismarck VR office, where his counselor encouraged him to participate in job shadowing in electronics prior to committing to an education program.

After his first year at Bismarck State College, Josh transferred to ND State College of Science (NDSCS). At that time he also transferred his case to the Minot VR office because it was closer to his parents’ home.

It proved to be a seamless transition, as his new counselor quickly moved to assist him with a new tutor and textbooks for college. After graduation, his VR counselor helped Josh look for and prepare for job interviews.

Outcomes & Benefits

Josh has worked for Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing since May, 2005. He says it has changed his life. When he started, he let them know it takes him a little longer to process information.

“That is what is great about this place. They took the extra time I needed to train me. My income has doubled and I’m able to pay my living expenses.”

Josh has been promoted from building cables for military and commercial planes to assembling circuit boards. Currently, he tests the circuit boards for quality assurance. With the promotions has come a raise. He now has health, dental and vision insurance, and he has a 401K plan with an employer match.

He likes his work, the people he works with, and the respect he gets for the good work he does. Upon being named Employee of the Month, one of his first calls was to his Minot VR counselor.

“If it wasn’t for VR helping me…, I would not have gotten this job. They are available and are willing to help people work through their physical or mental disability. They will do whatever it takes to help the person achieve. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”

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