Helping You Work
We will be with you every step of the way to make sure you are comfortable with your new job.
Discover Your Talents And Goals
Learn New Skills
Finding The Right Job For You
Helping You Along The Way
Training & Employment Services
Our training and employment services are here to help you grow your skills in the following ways.
The WorkCenter and LunchBox café includes janitorial and food prep training, business contracts to build pallets, packaging hardware, sorting, mailing and more.
Affordables and Affordables on 1st are resale stores that provide training opportunities for retail sales skills. Affordables restocks over 300 different items each day and serves an average of 150-200 customers daily.
JobLink is the employment services division. We offer employability skills training, career assessments, retail and food service certificates and training, job placement, and job supports.
Java Works now trainees can move on to the coffee shop to add skills and build on customer service delivery. It is a win – win employment training expansion. Library patrons and guests enjoy refreshments and area employers end up as winners of trained employees.
Facts & Stats
Served over 350 north Iowans in 10 counties
Helped 86 new job seekers get jobs
Helped 38 students find PT jobs and internships
Supported 187 employees with job retention services
with annual earnings exceeding $1.8 million
A Part Time Job Is Not A Full-Time Life
Activities Group, our clients have opportunities to have rich experiences and active lives by meeting friends, building relationships, and participating in their communities. Rather than staying home watching TV on their days off work, Joblink Activities clients can choose opportunities to go out with a group of friends for a couple hours or a full day. With plenty of suggestions from clients, each month is packed with fun and interesting things to do. Our clients enjoy supporting local events, going out to eat, visiting cultural attractions, cheering for area sports teams, volunteering, shopping, playing games, and exercising together.
Just a few of the day trips that our clients enjoyed in the past year have included an I-Cubs game, the Clay County Fair, the Mall of America, Adventureland, Boone Scenic Valley Railroad, Niagara Cave, Blank Park Zoo, the National Eagle Center, and Advocating for Change Day at the Iowa State Capitol. Thanks to a generous donation from North Iowa Community Credit Union, we were able to attend three NIACC Performing Arts Series performances with free or discounted tickets. Group parties were organized for Christmas, Valentines’ Day, and Halloween. By participating in activities in their communities, clients gain a sense of belonging and practice social norms for those settings. They are then more likely to visit those places on their own or with friends in the future. By being involved in activities, our clients are a visible and important part of their communities. They are economic contributors, helpful volunteers, and joyful participants.
“The people I work with are absolutely fantastic. Very nice people there. I really couldn’t ask for a better work group.”
I love working with employees from NIVC. They are always happyto come to work and you can tell they really enjoy the job they are doing,” said Stan the general manager of Rib Crib in Mason City. “Our employees from NIVC are always willing to work their hardest and go the extra mile,” added Stan.
Job coach Jerry Magnuson shared how JobLink assists job seekers like Alan and Trevor in
finding their jobs. “We have job developers and they make connections
with employers in the area, individuals describe what job he or she would like to have, then NIVC works with them on their applications and interviews. It’s kind of a support system.”
NIVC’s JobLink staff assisted Alan and Trevor throughout their job search.
It’s been around fi ve months since Alan acquired his job at Rib Crib with the help of NIVC. “Jenny Doughty is a very nice lady. Kudos to her for helping me land this job. She was with me pretty much every step of the way and I greatly appreciate that.” Alan said with gratitude when speaking about the help he received from Jenny, his job developer. “Rib Crib just recently started me out on the fl at iron grill.” Alan shared his appreciation for his job, telling us, “The people I work with are absolutely fantastic. Very nice people there. I really couldn’t ask for a better work group.”
Trevor, who works as a busboy for Rib Crib, works hard to keep up and has good customer service
skills. One of Trevor’s main responsibilities is to clear the tables as soon as customers leave. He considers being polite a key trait to good customer service. When Trevor was asked about what his favorite part of his job was he smiled and stated, “the people!”
“I enjoy sitting at the computer by the door and students scan their ID’s and I make sure they have the right one with them for supper.”
Customers at the Ellsworth Community College know they can count on two things when Drew is working—an enjoyable lunch and his engaging spirit to brighten their day. Drew shared his experience with pride, “I enjoy getting the good compliments from my boss. She complimented me about how hard working I am and how my boss really appreciates me and she really likes how I interact with the students and the staff altogether.”
“I work for Midwestern Dining and we are contracted by Ellsworth Community College here in Iowa Falls,” explains Drew Walker. Drew started his journey with Midwest Dining just 2 months ago and is already a great asset to their team. Drew’s employer, Cheryl Sorisco, states she wishes she had ten more people like Drew working for her! “I enjoy sitting at the computer by the door and students scan their ID’s and I make sure they have the right one with them for supper.” When asked how long he’s been working there Drew said, “I started on August 21 st , this year. So I’ve been there two months.”
Robin, a NIVC job coach, helped Drew to get his job at Midwestern Dining. Robin remarked upon the passion Drew put into his job search, saying, “He was very good to work with… When we were role playing the interview he answered all the questions and was really good about doing that. Overall he worked really hard to get a job. He came to all the appointments and did whatever I asked of him.” “She’s a very good person. Robin is really nice. She helps me ask for time o work, fill out the right paperwork, and checks in with me while I’m working to make sure I have everything I need,” Drew said of Robin.
In addition, Drew’s employer Cheryl greatly appreciates Robin’s assistance as well. She went on to say how she really enjoys her relationship with NIVC and Drew. She especially appreciates the way Robin checks in with her and Drew weekly.
“I really enjoy having Hazel and appreciate the support NIVC has to offer.” Hazel’s employment coordinator echoed the sentiment of an extended family in the workplace, saying, “I’m proud of her accomplishments and am happy to support her as she works towards her GED.”
“Kelly helped me land this job through the web of people that she knew. She came with me for my
interview. She helped me prepare for my interview before. She helped me fill out my application and all of the paperwork. She was an amazing coach.” Hazel elaborated on the tireless support Kelly, her job developer gave her.
During her job search Kelly, a NIVC coach, helped Hazel find a job at Apple Valley Assisted Living in Osage. Hazel said, “I have to thank NIVC for helping me find this job because without them I wouldn’t have thought about traveling outside of town, because I’m from Charles City, so when I was looking for employment I was looking in Charles City or the small towns. If it wasn’t for NIVC and Kelly I would have never gotten this job because I would have never thought about coming outside of my comfort zone.”Hazel described Kelly as, “one of the most amazing workers I’ve ever had.” Hazel continued, saying that whenever Kelley walks in the door during a surprise visit Hazel smiles like a kid in a candy store!” Hazel a single mother of two young boys, aged three and eight. She has now earned her place in the Apple Valley family, saying, “I love working here. The residents here are amazing and it’s more like a family when you come into work. People regret going to work, but not me. I love it.”
With a smile in her voice Hazel said, “There’s a couple residents that I just, I love… They’re just like my Nana or my Papa. Like I’ll go in and I’ll clean their rooms and they’ll sit down and some of the residents ask me to have a conversation.’ It’s a very caring residency. I love my residents.”
Hazel’s supervisor shared her care for Hazel saying, “I really enjoy having Hazel and appreciate the support NIVC has to offer.” Hazel’s employment coordinator echoed the sentiment of an extended family in the workplace, saying, “I’m proud of her accomplishments and am happy to support her as she works towards her GED.”
Outside of work Hazel spends her time working on her GED and Certified Nursing Assistant certificate, and is set to receive these this holiday season. Hazel shared with us where she gains her motivation with a choked up voice, saying, “I just keep pushing myself so my kids have a better life.”
With a final remark on how she pushes through the hectic nature of her life at the moment Hazel
shared, “I just want it to be known that even though it’s chaotic sometimes, being here and being there and trying to get my whole life together, it’s worth it. It’s frustrating sometimes, but it’s definitely worth putting the effort in to better myself.”
“I started the first week of May. I take orders, I hand out food at drive through, and I make some of the ice cream and some other things,”
“I have a lot of great employees but John is pretty special. He’s on time, he’s very professional, and he is very approachable. I remember when he was having an interview with another manager in the store. One of our regular customers came up to me and said ‘I really hope you hire him because I love that he is so pleasant and calls me my name every time I come into Affordables,’” John’s employer Vicky told us. “He gives 100% every shift. You never have to worry about him not being customer-focused which is our business and it keeps people coming back. We get compliments quite often and it’s all about his excellent customer service skills and we’re really lucky to have him as a team member,” Vicky added.
John acquired his job with the help of NIVC. As a testament to NIVC’s ability to connect clients to employers John said, “NIVC and Affordables [a division of NIVC] do a really good job of telling the employers about job seekers and their work experience. “I remember at my interview I did not have to answer a lot of questions. Kathy, my job coach had already asked me what days and times I could work. Plus, “the interviewer” had already received lots of feedback about my work at Affordables. NIVC made the process of finding a job so easy.“I started the first week of May. I take orders, I hand out food at drive through, and I make some of the ice cream and some other things,” said John about his job at McDonalds. “I like talking with people and talking with the customers as they come in.” Within half a year of employment John has already earned “employee of the month”!
John shared, “NIVC also helped me quite a bit in getting more confidence in a job situation. I worked for three years at Affordables down the street and I worked cash register and put clothes
out on the sales floor and I got a little bit more comfortable talking to people.” Vicky, Johns employer, went on to tell us, “Having a partnership with NIVC has been really good for us… We’ve had Kathy as a job coach with us for a long time so she’s kind of part of the family… It’s been a really, good transition for us. We’ve had quite a few clients of NIVC and we’re not hesitant to take that on.”
“It is a win-win situation. Franklin Wellness Center (FWC) and class members appreciate Marcy’s welcoming smile and she does a nice job making sure members are helped. In turn, Marcy can earn money while gaining work experience and independence.”
“It is a win-win situation. Franklin Wellness Center (FWC) and class members appreciate Marcy’s
welcoming smile and she does a nice job making sure members are helped. In turn, Marcy can earn
money while gaining work experience and independence.” says FWC manager Jim Davies.
job from day one. Hope helped Marcy find, apply for, and interview for her job. After Marcy acquired her job Hope helped train Marcy for her job. When speaking about her relationship
with Hope, Marcy commented, “She’s a good person. I really like her. And I knew her in High School.” Marcy and Hope attended Hampton Middle School together, and are happy to get to continue spending time together.Marcy’s favorite part of her work is the company she encounters there, saying, “The people are
friendly and they always say hi to me or good morning or have a good day.” Marcy finds a lot of pride in her work and says having her job makes her feel successful. She is a go-getter in her community, telling us, “I have three jobs. I have the wellness center and I have the Care Center and I have the Main Street Market”. Marcy is now moving into a new house and is happy with her growing independence and accomplishments