Training Highlights

On behalf of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, the Disability Employment Initiative is very excited to offer a presentation series on the value of a diversified workforce.  These presentations will be provided over the next two years for government agency representatives, business and industry leaders, and service providers.  Presentations will cover topics such as the recruitment and retention of a strong and diversified workforce, tax incentives, worksite accommodations, partnerships and collaboration and much more.

Table of Contents:


Dr. Alan Davis
Mental Health Presentation Series
May 2014-September 2014
Dr. Davis was born in Tacoma Washington and received a public school education. After serving in the US Army, he attended Western Washington University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He earned his master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky, and later his doctoral studies in Counselor Education and Supervision at Oregon State University. He has worked as a counselor in mental health and rehabilitation agencies and has experience serving clients with both physical and psychiatric disabilities.

He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. His special interest area is psychiatric disabilities. Dr. Davis is currently a professor and Coordinator of the Masters program in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at South Dakota State University.

Forming Teams, May 22, 2014
Principles and methods for forming interdisciplinary teams to promote integrated planning, service, and support. Problem solving, goal setting, and coordinated support networks will be examined.
Forming Teams Powerpoint Presentation PowerPoint

PTSD/ Anxiety/Depression in the Workplace, June 26, 2014
The special needs of persons who are sensitive to stress in the workplace will be examined. Symptoms conditions that involve high levels of anxiety will be described, as well as workplace needs and support.
Dr. Davis – Depression, Anxiety, PTSD in the Workplace Powerpoint Presentation

ADD, July 24, 2014
This presentation will cover symptoms and challenges of adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Methods to minimize impulsiveness and problems at work and in daily life, and to maintain stability in close personal relationships will be presented.
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder  PowerPoint

Bi-Polar Disorder and Schizophrenia, August 21, 2014
The symptoms and needs of persons with Bi-Polar Disorder and Schizophrenia will be examined. Special emphasis will be placed on methods to reduce symptom severity and promote adherence to a medication regimen.
Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder PowerPoint

Personality Disorders, September 25, 2014
Personality Disorders will be described in terms of characteristic interpersonal conflicts. Recent advancements in treatment and career adjustment needs of persons with these disorders will be covered.
Personality Disorders PowerPoint

Terry Mills
Financial Goal Setting”
April 24, 2014
Terry presented on financial goal setting, budgeting and how they work and the importance of using a budget. He also talked about the importance of credit and how it affects everything in life that you do.

Terry Mills is the Education and Community Outreach Manager with Consumer Credit Counseling of the Black Hills. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills (CCCS/BH) was established as a non-profit agency in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1974 to help people in our community and the surrounding area overcome their financial obstacles, achieve their financial goals, and improve the quality of their lives.

Molly Sullivan
“Breaking the Cycle of SSI and/or SSDI Benefits”
February 20, 2014Available via Webinar
During this webinar the common contributing factors to lifelong dependency on SSDI and/or SSI will be explored.  Additionally, strategies will be provided to support beneficiaries in moving toward financial stability and ending this cycle poverty and dependency.

For over 15 years, Molly has been assisting people with disabilities pursue wage and self-employment.  She has worked in direct service, program management for non-profit and government agencies, and provided training and technical assistance to professionals in disability services on innovative employment strategies.

Molly has expertise in self-employment and benefits planning.  She provided training and technical assistance under the national self-employment demonstration project START-UP-USA and has supported numerous non-profit and government agencies in building their capacity to deliver self-employment services.  Additionally, she provided training and technical assistance under the SSA funded WIPA National Training Center and has supported numerous non-profit and government agencies in building their capacity to deliver benefit planning services.

Presentation materials available for download:
PowerPoint Presentation
“What would you do?” Case Studies
Thinking about Money and Behavior

Patrick Czerny
“Assistive Technology”
January 9, 2014 and January 30,  2014

During this presentation Patrick will cover the definition of Assistive Technology and how this relates to the work environment. He will also discuss The Tech Act Program for the State of South Dakota. Demonstrations of Technology will follow. The presentation will wrap up with examples of many successful implementations of Assistive Technology that DakotaLink has provided.

For 20 years Patrick has been the Coordinator of Technical Services for DakotaLink which is part of the Tech Act Program for the State of South Dakota. He currently oversees the operation of 4 offices with 7 technicians. They provide Assistive Technology to individuals with disabilities throughout South Dakota and neighboring states. This includes assessments, installation, and training on assistive devices and other computer related technology.

Since 1996 Patrick has held certification as a Rehabilitation Technician from the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America. All during his career he has worked in the field providing assistive technology services to individuals as well as his oversight responsibilities.  He graduated from Minneapolis Technical College in 1974 majoring in electrical studies. He is a child of Deaf parents and was previously a Certified Interpreter for the Deaf from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Presentation materials available for download HERE.

Ronda Feterl
“Strategies that Work for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorder”
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ronda Feterl, MS, is the Assistant Director to the Developmental Disabilities Division of Black Hills Special Services Cooperative.  She began her work in the field of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the mid-1980s at Division TEACCH in North Carolina.  In the years since, she has worked with hundreds of people with ASD and their families.  She is an evaluator on a diagnostic team, provides parent training, educator training, and employment training throughout South Dakota and surrounding states.  She serves on the Center for Disabilities Advisory Board and the Act Early Advisory Committee, as well as the local parent support group for the Autism Society of the Black Hills.  She has been the facilitator of the “Summer Autism Training,” a week long training for educators and families of children with ASD.
Presentation materials available for download HERE (7/18/13 presentation) and HERE (3/20/2014 presentation)

 Dona Leavens
“Small Business Development Center: Considering Self-Employment for Individuals with Disabilities”
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Through a network of six offices across the state and 1,100 Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offices around the country, the SBDC provides professional, confidential and no-cost business consulting services. They provide one-on-one counseling and training to individuals starting a business or looking for ways to improve an existing business.

Since 1999, the South Dakota SBDC has helped clients obtain more than $1 billion in financing, creating or preserving more than 9,680 jobs within the state.  SBDC services enable South Dakota’s entrepreneurs to make better, more informed business decisions, help avoid costly mistakes and to prepare thorough and complete business plans needed to obtain financing and effectively manage their venues.

The South Dakota Small Business Development Center network in FY 2012 counseled over 1,500 local businesses in 62 counties, resulting in $128 million in capital infusion and the creation and retention of over 1,200 jobs throughout the state.
Presentation Materials Available for Download HERE

 David Scherer
“Employment Basics: A Primer on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Workplace Accommodations”
Thursday, June 20, 2013
David Scherer, program coordinator for Dakotalink, the South Dakota Assistive Technology Program, will walk through the basic information everyone should know when it comes to the ADA and employment.  His presentation includes information on who is covered by the ADA, what it means to be a qualified employee, which employers must comply with the law, how essential job functions are determined and reasonable accommodations.

Presentation Materials Available for Download HERE

Dan Rounds and Shelly Pfaff
“Work Incentives and the Intrinsic Value of Employment”
Thursday, March 28, 2013
This presentation will provide a broad overview on the variety of SSI and SSDI work incentives availablef or individuals with disabilities.  It will address the “non-financial” benefits of working as well as share a success story demonstrating these concepts in action.

Dan Rounds is currently the Transition Coordinator for the Transition Services Liaison Project (TSLP).  TSLP assists students with disabilities, their families, schools, and adult service agencies to make the transition from high school to post-school a meaningful experience.

Shelly Pfaff is the executive director for the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities.  The mission of South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities is to advocate for the full inclusion of individuals of all ages with disabilties in all aspects of society.

Presentation Materials Available for Download HERE

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability, NWCW-Youth
Youth Service Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Initiative
“Knowledge of the Field: This Work that We Do”
“Relationship to Family: Working Together”
Wednesday and Thursday, December 5 & 6
Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) Office
Additional details HERE
Visit the NCWD-Youth Website

V.J. Smith
“The Richest Man in Town”
Thursday, November 8, 2012 from 8 to 9:30 AM
Journey Museum, Rapid City, SD

V.J. Smith has been a professional speaker for more than a decade. He travels throughout the United States and Canada.

Smith has also been a bill collector, solar collector salesman and a fundraiser.  “Being a child of the early ‘70s, it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” he says.

As for his speaking ability, he credits that with growing up with three brothers and four sisters.  “You had to learn to talk loud and fast or you didn’t get much to eat,” Smith muses.  Drawing on his lifetime experiences, Smith peppers his talks with anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate key points.  He feels he is better equipped to be a storyteller, not a preacher.

Smith honed his speaking skills through his membership in Toastmaster’s International.  On two occasions he was a finalist in that organization’s ‘World’s Championship of Public Speaking.’

A 1978 graduate of South Dakota State University, Smith spent the decade of the 1980s working for the Allied Signal Aerospace Company in Kansas City, MO.  He returned to his alma mater in 1990 to serve as Assistant Athletic Director for the SDSU athletic
program.  He was appointed Executive Director of the SDSU Alumni Association in 1996 and resigned from that position in January 2007.

VJ Smith is the author of The Richest Man in Town.
A moving story of the relationship between a guy who ran a cash register and a guy who worked at a college. The cashier taught life lessons and the college guy listened.

For more information, visit VJ Smith’s website, Life’s Great Moments.

Benjamin L. Snow
“Creating a Successful Workforce”
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Journey Museum, Rapid City, SD
Welcome and Introductions from
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
Cabinet Secretary Pamela S. Roberts

Mr. Snow serves as the President of the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, a public/private non-profit organization that works to broaden the economic base and create new economic opportunities for residents of Rapid City and the Black Hills.

Prior to joining the Partnership in July 2009, he was based in Denver, Colorado where he served in several economic development leadership capacities, including Executive Director for the Parker Economic Development Council, President and CEO of the Parker Chamber of Commerce, and Business Development Manager for the Southeast Business Partnership.

He has over 17 years experience in both the public and private sectors, serving in various capacities of commercial real estate acquisitions, development, investment analysis, project management and market research as well as economic development. During his career, he has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States in pursuit of development and investment opportunities.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Real Estate from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and is actively involved in CoreNet Global, International Economic Development Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, Black Hills Vision, Black Hills Community Economic Development, Black Hills Business Council, Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce, and many other educational, civic and business organizations. His personal interests include camping, fishing, reading, racquetball, basketball, traveling and spending time with his wife Kimberlee and their four children.

2012 Fall Voc Rehab Conference
During the 2012 South Dakota VR Fall Conference, Michael Huberman, Youth Policy Advisor for the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) presented on “Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success.”  This curriculum focuses on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities.  Also presenting during the conference was Patricia Gill, Senior Program Associate for Institute for Educational Leadership.  Patricia discussed the use of “Guideposts for Success”, developed by National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD-Youth) and the application of the guideposts as a transition framework for students to successfully move from high school to adult life.

SD DEI Impact on DLR Staff
In the following video, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation staff share how the SD Disability Employment Initiative has positively impacted their professional approach to providing services to individuals with disabilities. The staff emphasized the value they gained in learning how to reach out to other agency representatives in forming a team to support the job seeker in reaching her/his employment goal.

Workforce3One Webinar

Below you will find links to the materials referenced as part of the November 19th, 2013, Workforce3One webinar.  For additional information and/or questions, please contact Kendra Ringstmeyer,, 605.773.4136.

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