Who We Are

Northern Hills Training Center Shared Living

Shared Living is an arrangement and a rewarding experience for all-enabling individuals with disabilities to become part of a family, household, and community.

Shared Living is based on a mutual relationship where both parties embark on a journey to share life together.

The approach is designed to enable people with support needs to experience a real community life; an alternative to the traditional residential settings service model.

Benefits of Shared Living:

     •Promotes a real sense of home and control—Access to individualized, person-centered supports in a home-like environment.

     •Promotes development of trusting, respectful, relationships—Opportunities to develop meaningful relationships, access to typical community resources, and be active members of their communities.

     •Increased accountability and consistency of supports—Control, consistency, and stability of supports that are provided and who provides them.

     •Greater commitment to a “Life that Makes Sense”—Living in a private home where there is one person providing the majority of supports. Eliminates the need for multiple shifts and multiple staff.

Northern Hills Training Center Residential Services

Northern Hills Training Center currently provides supports to approximately 135 individuals across the Spearfish and Belle Fourche areas, so that these individuals can become active members of their community.  In order to provide a variety of choices for people, these supports are offered in a variety of residentials settings, such as group homes, supervised apartments, traditional community housing, and family homes. 

The supports offered by employees in residential setting include daily living skills which may include:

  • Assistance with medications and health needs
  • Preparing healthy meals
  • Maintaining a clean and safe home
  • Taking medications
  • Shopping for groceries and personal items
  • Accessing transportation
  • Participating in recreational and community activities and events
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Assitance with managing finances
  • Teaching supports for people who desire to learn skills and become more independent

Northern Hills Training Center Pre-Vocational Services

NHTC offers vocational options at our main facility that require basic to fine motor skills.  The work environment is fun and includes laughter and music.  Some of the current opportunities include assembly, labeling, cleaning of products, packaging, custodial services, and using saws to cut wood.  NHTC's pre-vocational services peform work for:

  • Quarq Technology (SRAM LLC) – Quarq Technology of Spearfish is a bicycle component company that manufactures a meter to measure and improve a bicyclist's capabilities.  This product is used by individuals competing in bicycle races and is venturing into the mountain bike scene.  

  • Spearfish Forest Products--This Spearfish saw mill has an annual production exceeding 100 MMBF of boards and battens, of which 1 x 4, 1 x 6 and 1 x 8 ponderosa pine goods are the primary products.  Spearfish Forest Products is the largest facility of the five businesses owned by Neiman Enterprises, Inc.

To offer a service of "giving back" to the community, NHTC has created different volunteer opportunities, and are currently volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Black Hills State University, Matthew's Opera House and the local Humane Society.  We hope to expand our volunteer services across Spearfish to show that NHTC and the individuals we support care about the community we call home.

Northern Hills Training Center Job Crews/Enclaves

NHTC offers an array of job opportunities that occur in our community.  Each job crew/enclave is staffed with a job coach who provides transportaiton, teaches job skills, ensures that the end product is satisfactory for the businesses that employ NHTC individuals, and that each member of the crew is having fun and finds their work rewarding.   NHTC has an excellent rapport with the businesses we work for.   We often hear and are told that we are an excellent addition to their business and that they wouldn't know what to do without us.  

NHTC has job crews and enclaves in the following Spearfish businesses: U.S. Forest Service- Northern Hills Ranger District, Perkins, Matthew's Opera House, All Angels Episcopal Church, U.S. D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery, City of Spearfish, Day's Inn, in-house yard/moving crew, Highmark Federal Credit Union - Belle Fourche and Spearfish, Spearfish Chamber of Commerce, Bomgaars and Treasures Thrift Store.

Northern Hills Training Center Supported Employment

NHTC has a goal to help those who desire work in their community to achieve that goal.   NHTC, the individual receiving employment services, and the local businesses have a great sucess record of helping individuals work in an integrated work setting and earn at least minimum wage.  We use the services of Vocational Rehabilitation to begin the path to employment.   All NHTC employment specialist are certified in Customized Employment and have three employment specialist who are Certified Employment Support professionals (CESP).  These certifications give NHTC more tools and opportunities to help our individuals find substantial competitive employment in the community.     

NHTC supports individuals working at the following Spearfish businesses: City of Spearfish, Spearfish Rec & Aquatic Center, Pizza Ranch, Quik Signs, Walmart of Spearfish, McDonald's, Safeway, Juneks, Masters, Sodexo, Nona's, E.T. Sports - Belle Fourche, Black Hills Pioneer, North Pointe Daycare, Liberty Tax, Metzger's Animal Clinic, Culver's, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Prairie Hills Transit.

For more information about supported employment services, please visit http://abilityforhire.com/.

Alternative Day Habilitation Services (Connections Program)

Connections Alternative Day Habilitation Services are designed to provide a comprehensive support system for individuals who are unable or choose not to participate in traditional day programs or work on a consistent basis.

Alternative Day Services are available to support individuals in their pursuit of personal achievements. We encourage individuals to achieve greater independence and explore new interests and opportunities.

The Connections Alternative Day Program strongly advocates the use of the community and its resources. Whenever possible, individuals are encouraged to access community activities, events and settings to further develop skills and to achieve personal goals and objectives. Community involvement in conjunction with Person Centered approaches serves to promote confidence and inclusion.

Northern Hills Training Center Tinton Program

The Tinton program at Northern Hills Training Center provides an employment opportunity for people in a highly supervised and structured environment.  People have the opportunity to learn important job skills in a woodshop setting. 

The program supplies stakes ranging in size from 6 inches to 4 feet long to South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming. They are used by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Transportation, the mining and petroleum industry and engineering firms. Please contact James Ager at james.ager@nhtc.org if your business is seeking these types of products.

Other products produced in the Tinton woodshop include specialty pallets, a wedge used in the mining industry to hold blasting cable wire and battens used in the lumber industry.



Northern Hills Training Center Support Coordination

Northern Hills Training Center utilizes a team approach in providing supports and services to people. Members of the team include the person and anyone else they choose including:

  • Quality Support Specialist

  • Employer

  • NHTC staff providing supports and services

  • Medical/nursing staff

  • Family members

  • Guardians

  • Advocates

  • Professional service providers

  • Friends

The Quality Support Specialist is a primary advocate for the person supported and ensures that what is important to a person and what is important for a person is identified and addressed. External Case Management is responsible for the facilitation of an annual Individual Service Plan (ISP) meeting, and will work with the Quality Support Specialists to set up the meetings for the person supported and their team.

During this meeting, the person and the team discuss, create, revise, and change the ISP as needed. The team may also meet at anytime throughout the year to discuss specific issues or changes  as requested by any team member.

Other responsibilities of the Quality Support Specialist include:

  • Primary contact for the people supported

  • Monitoring the ISP for implementation and progress

  • Primary contact for family members, guardians and advocates

  • Facilitation of all team meetings or assisting the person to facilitate their own meetings

  • Assisting people with community integration

  • Assisting people to establish or re-establish natural supports

  • Funding eligibility

  • Benefit coordination

  • Financial assistance

  • Obtaining health and/or other professional services

  • Locating and helping a person maintain residential placement

  • Facilitating the development of a Positive Support Plan if needed


Northern Hills Training Center Medical & Health Services

The medical/nursing services program at Northern Hills Training Center supports people to ensure their best possible health. The medical/nursing staff supports people in assessing their health care needs and assisting them to access the quality health care services available in the Spearfish community. This includes assisting individuals in scheduling appointments with their primary care physicians, audiologists, mental health counselors, psychiatrists, physical therapists, nutritionists, speech/language therapists, and other health care professionals. If required specialty services are not available in Spearfish, people are assisted to access them in Rapid City or other metropolitan areas.

The medical/nursing services staff provides training for staff and people supported in the following:

  • Medication administration

  • Dietary procedures and specialized diets

  • CPR and first aid

  • Diabetes management

  • Catheter care

  • Nursing care tasks that are delegated through training

  • Preventive health care

  • Transportation to medical appointments

The medical/nursing services staff currently includes one Director of Medical Services, a LPN, Medical Quality Support Specialist and five Medical Service Assistants.