BISMARCK, N.D. (Heather Steffl) – Employers competing
for workers in North Dakota’s tight labor market where the
unemployment rate hovers around two percent cannot afford to lose
experienced employees, especially due to permanent injuries or
impairments. The Department of Human Services’ Division of
Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) team is available to help employers
retain current employees and connect with qualified applicants.
offer individuals with disabilities counseling, training, education,
assistive technology, and job search and placement support so they
can become employed or stay employed. We also connect businesses with
prospective employees and resources to assist with on-the-job
training, workplace accommodations and modifications, and ADA
concerns,” said acting division director Robyn Throlson.
North Dakota is among the leading states in the employment of people
with disabilities, this workforce resource is underutilized, Throlson
said. In 2015, about half of the 38,112 working-age adults with
disabilities in North Dakota were employed.
October, which is National Disability
Employment Awareness Month, Throlson
encouraged employers to learn more about vocational rehabilitation
services by contacting the regional office serving their area.
Contact information is available online at
federal fiscal year, the division made over 2,200 employer contacts
and helped 613 North Dakotans with disabilities obtain competitive,
integrated employment in their community.
people we work with are motivated,” she said. “Last fiscal year,
87 percent of our clients were still working nine months after
achieving their employment goal.”
receive DVR services, individuals must have a disability that is an
impediment to employment, and they must want to work and be available
to work, said Throlson who described the average client as age 37
with a physical or cognitive disability.
team of vocational rehabilitation professionals assists North
Dakotans with all types of disabilities who range in age from
teenagers in high school to people over age 65. Clients appreciate
the career exploration, counseling and guidance DVR offers,” she
addition to helping employers fill job openings with qualified
applicants, DVR staff also offer rapid retention services to
employers when an existing employee is at risk of losing his or her
job because of a disability.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation works in cooperation with
Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation, the centers for independent living
in North Dakota, Job Service North Dakota, Adult Education, and other
workforce development partner agencies to address workforce needs and
to develop an inclusive, high-quality workforce in the state.
and people with disabilities can learn more about vocational
rehabilitation services at www.nd.gov/dhs/dvr/index.html
or by contacting the North Dakota Department of Human Services’
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at 1237 W. Divide Ave., Suite
1B, Bismarck, N.D., 58501, 701-328-8950, toll-free 800-755-2745, ND
Relay TTY 800-366-6888,