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Pierre/Ft.Pierre Student Internship Program

The Student intern program is designed to provide employers with access to a local talent pool while providing young adults who are entering the workforce with exposure to meaningful local career paths.  The internship program is funded, in part, by a matching grant provided by the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.

 Participating businesses will host student interns 8 hours a week for 16 weeks and contribute $2.50 an hour to the intern wage.  The remainder of the intern wage will be supported by the state grant and support from local government partners. 

Businesses interested in participating can contact Pierre City Hall at 773-7341 or PEDCO at 224-6610. Students interested in participating should contact their school counselors for information about internship qualifications. 

(Newsletter of the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Convention & Visitors Bureau & Pierre Economic Development Corporation - September 2015)



VR Employment Specialist Trainings  

The Center for Disabilities and the South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services have scheduled the 2nd round of the Employment Specialist Training Sessions.  Many of you attended the 1st training sessions in April and May.   The 2nd round of training sessions is intended to build off the previous trainings,  however if you did not attend the initial training you can still attend this training.  The training sessions will be held at:

Sioux Falls on October 26 & 27

Rapid City on November 2 & 3

Aberdeen on November 11 & 12


There is no cost to attend this training but registration is required.   The enclosed announcement provides more details on registration and training locations.  Because the Sioux Falls location gets the largest number of registrations, we do ask that individuals from Watertown, Pierre and Huron locations attend the Aberdeen training.  If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Disabilities at 800-658-3080.

Learn more - see flyer at:   VR Employment Specialist Training Fall 2015.pdf



Disability Connection Newsletter August 2015

10 Questions Visitors Asked Disability.gov

How can I find out the status of my application for Social Security disability benefits? How do I get a Medicare card? ...

Are there any scholarships or financial aid programs specifically for students with disabilities? ... 

Read more at:  https://www.disability.gov/disability-connection-newsletter-august-2015/ 




2015 Fall Transition Indicators Training to be held in September

"Results Driven Transition Planning"

Training will be held in Rapid City, Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen

  • Hands on instruction in reviewing and utilizing your district's outcome data. 
  • Learn how to develop results driven transition IEP's which will lead to improved outcomes for students.
  • Join the conversation surrounding "enhanced practices" for effective transition planning. 

Learn more about the upcoming trainings:  Fall Indicators 15 flyer2 2015.pdf



If you missed it.....                       

                                      ......it was recorded -

Disability 101: Disability Inclusion and the Americans with Disabilities Act Essential Building Blocks 

This webinar was hosted by the South Dakota Retailers Association and the South Dakota Department of Human Services on August 11, 2015.

Presenters: Kimberly Hoberg & Steve Stewart, South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services




When:  Tuesday, September 29th, 11am - 4pm


Where:  Sioux Falls Convention Center
Why:  To network with thousands of local jobseekers and fill your talent pipeline.
How:  Leveraging the power of KELO-TV, KELOLAND.com, KELOLANDEmployment.com, and through social media, this event is sure to be noticed by local ACTIVE and PASSIVE jobseekers.
Special TV ad packages available:
Regardless of your Employer booth package, you will be offered a Special Television advertising opportunity to help you promote your business' hiring needs with an invitation to jobseekers to visit your booth at the upcoming Career Expo. These special TV Ad packages can be purchased for as little as $2500. Inquire for details.            
Learn more at:  http://www.kelolandemployment.com/employerregister/  



Pilot Program To Address Workforce Shortages To Be Launched Next Week In Pierre And Fort Pierre

An effort to hopefully address some of the workforce shortages in Pierre and Fort Pierre will kick off next week.

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says a student intern program will be implemented for the upcoming school year and will include students from Stanley County and Riggs High Schools along with businesses in Pierre and Fort Pierre. 

An effort will be made to find students in 11th and 12th grade who are looking for local careers and match them up with businesses in Pierre and Fort Pierre that need employees and find businesses that can offer the students a long-term career path.  Pierre and Fort Pierre received a grant from the State of South Dakota to start the internship program and Gill says both communities will be working together on the program.

Gill adds that the Pierre Economic Development Corporation and the Fort Pierre Development Corporation are also a part of making the student intern program a reality.

 Those wanting more information on the program can contact the City of Pierre at 773-7341.


Get Noticed at Virtual Job Fairs

Picture of Paula Reuben VieilletBy Guest Blogger Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder, Employment Options Inc.

In this ever-changing world of technology, one of the best hiring opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities and other challenges is a “virtual” job fair.


The advantage of virtual job fairs and chat-based interviews is profound. First of all, you can attend with an Internet connection and you don’t have to worry about wardrobe, transportation or even leaving your home.



Read more at:   https://usodep.blogs.govdelivery.com/2015/08/04/get-noticed-at-virtual-job-fairs/




3 Reasons Millennials Are Getting Fired
A backlash to Milllennials' mindsets at work is causing some to get fired. Here's why.





Picture of 2015 NDEAM Poster


National Disability Employment Awareness Poster 2015


My disability is one part of who I am.

Poster - can be downloaded or ordered at the following site:


(Also available in Spanish)


 Building an Inclusive Workforce

A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Employees with Disabilities



 Yankton NDEAM committee seeking award nominations 

YANKTON, S.D. – Yankton’s local National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) committee is seeking nominations for the awards of Outstanding Employer of the Year and Outstanding Employee with a Disability. NDEAM is acknowledged nationally and in South Dakota each October. 

Read more at:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17873


National Survey Demonstrates That People with Disabilities are Striving to Work and Overcoming Barriers 

Leader in Disability Research Releases Results of First-of-its-Kind Survey

WASHINGTON, DC, and WEST ORANGE, New Jersey – Americans with disabilities are striving to work and overcoming barriers to employment. This is a key finding of the 2015 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey, the first nationally representative survey on the workplace experiences of Americans with disabilities, presented by experts today on Capitol Hill. The survey of 3,013 people with disabilities, aged 18 to 64, was commissioned by Kessler Foundation and conducted by the University of New Hampshire.“Nearly 69 percent of those  surveyed are striving to work, defined as  working, actively preparing for employment, ..... read more at:  http://kesslerfoundation.org/kfsurvey15/pressrelease


Rural Manufacturer: Partnership with State Grows Business, Community

ALEXANDRIA, S.D. – SD Industries (SDI), a leading manufacturer in the swine industry, has been approved for a REDI (Revolving Economic Development & Initiative) Fund loan by the Board of Economic Development. The loan will be used to purchase equipment and will allow the company to double its production, while decreasing its utility cost. 

Read more at:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17794


Cleanup Precautions Help Prevent Hantavirus

PIERRE, S.D. – As South Dakotans work outdoors around sheds, barns or other places where mice are found, they need to take steps to prevent hantavirus says a state health official.
South Dakota has reported 15 cases of hantavirus, including 5 deaths, since 1993 when the disease was first detected in the southwestern United States. More than 640 cases have been reported in the U.S. since 1993.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome fills the lungs with fluid and can cause respiratory failure. Rodents, primarily deer mice, carry the virus that causes the disease. 

 Read more at:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17797


      Not Defined by Disability

"My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am" is the theme of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The nationwide initiative annually raises awareness of employment issues faced by people with disabilities and celebrates their contributions to the workplace. While October is NDEAM, announcing the theme in May helps workplaces, individuals and communities begin planning activities. "This year's theme encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that — people," said Jennifer Sheehy, acting assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.




SiouxFallsHasJobs.com: Find Yours Today!

City Launches Workforce Recruitment Campaign

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Find your next job at SiouxFallsHasJobs.com. That’s the message unveiled today when City of Sioux Falls officials announced a new workforce recruitment campaign. SiouxFallsHasJobs.com is a new mobile-friendly website that directs people around the world to the more than 2,000 open jobs in Sioux Falls.

Learn more at:




The 10 Fastest Growing Jobs   

US Department of Labor Blog 



Higher Wages is Smart for Business



SD Medicaid Website Addresses Change

 The Department of Social Services website, http://dss.sd.gov, has changed. Please be aware that some bookmarks for previous South Dakota Medicaid site may have moved.
Here are the new web addresses for some of the most frequently accessed portions of the website:

Medicaid Provider: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/providers/
Fee Schedules: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/providers/feeschedules/
Frequently Asked Questions: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/generalinfo/faq.aspx
Health Homes: http://dss.sd.gov/healthhome/

Provider Billing and HIPAA Manuals: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/providers/billingmanuals/

Prior Authorization Criteria: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/providers/pa/
Provider Enrollment: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/providers/becomeprovider/
Provider Communication: http://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/providers/communication.aspx
SDMEDX Login: http://dss.sd.gov/sdmedx/login/login.aspx




It’s Job Fair Season at the

Department of Labor and Regulation

 PIERRE, S.D. – With spring time approaching, many employers have positions to fill and are looking for skilled, qualified workers. To meet the demands of both employers and job seekers, the Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) local offices will be hosting job fairs over the coming months. . . . . .read more at:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17305

For a list of job fairs scheduled throughout the state and more job fair tips, visit http://dlr.sd.gov/jobseekerservices/jobfairs.aspx, or talk to a workforce expert at a DLR local office. 





The first ASPIRE monthly newsletter was published on Thursday, January 15, 2015.  If you would like the newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, please subscribe to our listserv!  Visit www.aspirewest.org and select “Subscribe” on the menu.  While there, be sure to explore the website and learn more!


If you know youth or families who may be interested in ASPIRE (youth ages 14 to 16 who receive SSI), pass along the website link to them.


South Dakota ASPIRE has enrolled 54 youth. We are currently recruiting and enrolling in these areas-Aberdeen, Milbank, Sisseton, Groton, Lake Traverse Reservation, Watertown, Brookings, Pierre and Crow Creek Reservation. Total enrollments for the ASPIRE Project is approximately 210 enrollees.



Social Security Expanding Field Office Hours Nationwide

Starting March 16, 2015, Social Security Administration field offices around the country will stay open for an extra hour every weekday except Wednesday. However, many Social Security matters don't even require a visit to a field office. You can apply for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits online or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to talk with a representative. Find your local field office.


Students Gain a ‘Jump Start’ on College Success

PIERRE, S.D. – With the help of a prestigious $3.6 million federal grant, South Dakota State University, in partnership with six other South Dakota higher education institutions, has developed the South Dakota Jump Start program. This program intends to serve 900 Native American and low-income students, helping them succeed in college by providing an affordable academic “jump start.”

 South Dakota Jump Start students are currently being identified for the next academic year. Eligible individuals include Native American and low-income students who have graduated from a South Dakota high school and want to attend college for the first time.

To learn more go to:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17217


Program to Provide Post-Secondary Education for Young Adults with Disabilities

PIERRE, S.D. – The state Department of Human Services (DHS) has established a program offering post-secondary education to young adults with disabilities in South Dakota.

DHS issued a request for proposals from institutions with the ability to implement a three-year pilot program at a college, university or technical institute that would grant access to a menu of courses and provide work opportunities. Augustana College was awarded the contract.

Read More at:  http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17032 



Assistive Technology Training Available

for South Dakotans who are Blind or Visually Impaired

 The Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired is offering training to access mobile devices and personal computers for South Dakota citizens with vision loss.  The instruction will address built in accessibility options for those with low vision or who are blind.  The training is free to adults and high school students with vision loss.  No devices, applications or software will be purchased through the program and training is individualized with up to five hours of instruction per program participant.  For more information contact any Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired office http://dhs.sd.gov/sbvi/address.aspx or contact the SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind at 605.367.5260 or call toll free: 1-800-658-5441.


If you are a person with a disability who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both? Do you wonder how employment might impact these and other benefits you currently receive?
There are community work incentive coordinators located in Rapid City, Pierre, Brookings, Sioux Falls and Yankton. There is a benefits specialist located in Aberdeen. Benefits planning and counseling services are available for Vocational Rehabilitation consumers and former WIPA clients. Limited information and referral services are available to all other beneficiaries who want to return to work.
To access these services, call 1-800-224-5336, ext. 221.


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