Making a Goal Possible

Since 1976, Northern Hills Training Center has been helping hundreds of adults with intellectual disabilities find their place in Spearfish’s community.

From cleaning hotel rooms and offices and detailing cars to packaging orders, the staff at NHTC is helping the individuals they work with reach their goals and become independent thinkers and doers.

Twin sisters Carla and Marla West have been going to NHTC for as long as they can remember and credit a lot of their individual successes to the program.

“Everyone at the Training Center has been a big support for us,” said Marla with Carla nodding in agreement.

From finding jobs they love, to traveling the world, finding friends, and most recently – purchasing their
own home – NHTC has helped the sisters along the way.

“The girls have worked so hard and have saved for a long time,” said Kris.

Every day, the team at Northern Hills Training Center see the simple things like a first paycheck or a newly learned skill, become the highlight of the day for countless adults they work with.

“It’s fun to be a part of those moments,” said Kris Larson, an Employment Specialist at NHTC. “The moments these people have been working towards for a long time and they meet their goals.”

It’s more than a job, a class, or someone you can call a friend. Individuals working with NHTC are gaining their independence in the community one step at a time, with the staff to cheer them on.

Northern Hills Training Center

Somewhere to Engage

Whether the individuals are living in one of NHTC’s group home locations, opting for supervised living, or continuing to live with their parents, there are countless opportunities for engaging conversations and educational courses.

Somewhere to Work

“We work hard to actively engage workers in the community based around the goals they want to reach as an individual,” said Brice Johnson, Community Employment Direct Support Supervisor. “We teach each person individual skills they will need to know and understand, then plug them into the best
position they can thrive at.”

Someone to Help

Each individual at NHTC has access to medical attention by the Registered Nurse and Medical Service Assistants on staff. From the occasional scraped elbow or sliver, to educating individuals on proper diets and nutritional needs – the professionals are working together to give each person the knowledge they need to live a happy healthy life.

Someone to Trust

“Quality Support Specialists oversee all supports and services to the people we work with, to make sure we are doing the best we can,” explains Chris Davis, the NHTC’s Community Relations Coordinator.



words Jenna Carda

photos Jesse Brown Nelson