Friday, October 14, 2011

Lions learn about Northern Hills Training Center

The Northern Hills Training Center in Spearfish has been providing services for adults with developmental disabilities for some 35 years now.

Chris Davis, who handles public relations for NHTC, shared a bit of history and details of those services this week (10/13/11) with members of the Belle Fourche Lions during a meeting at the Belle Fourche Country Club. .

"We started by serving six people back in 1976.  Today, we serve 130 persons," said Davis.

Discussions about creating such a facility in this region date back to 1973, when a group of citizens met to discuss creation of a workshop for the developmentally disabled in the northern Black Hills.  According to New Directions, the quarterly newsletter published by NHTC, the first residence was acquired in 1976.   Since then, they've added six more residences and also have people living independently or with their families.

"To serve our 130 persons, we have a staff of some 150 people," said Davis, noting that their range of services fall under four categories:  residential, vocational services, medical services, and services coordination.  Many of the people served by NHTC are able to pursue employment in the community, including many retail and manufacturing facilities in Spearfish and Belle Fourche.

Northern Hills Training Center is a nonprofit organization that provides vocational and independent living services to "empower adults with disabilities, encouraging all to strive for their ultimate potential in all aspects of their lives."  You can find out more about NHTC by visiting their web site at

We learned that while many of the residents at NHTC receive government support, the center relies upon donors to help NHTC achieve their goals.  Persons wishing to consider a gift can go to

We particularly liked the statement prominently displayed on the banner of all New Directions newsletters published by NHTC:  Our goal is to help others reach theirs.