Stories

Kiran Ernst has worked at Perkins in Mason City for four years. Candice Bassey,
Perkins General Manager, says “Kiran is always a joyful person to work with
she shows up to work every day with a big smile on her face and she is ready to
work! The positivity that Kiran brings with her each day is contagious and she
has always been a joy to work with!”

Kiran’s experience as a Project Search graduate has given her confidence in
her role at Perkins. Project SEARCH North Iowa is a oneyear, school-to-work
internship program that takes place at MercyOne North Iowa.

Outside of work Kiran loves shopping, drinking hot cocoa, and growing her CD collection.
Her newest accomplishment is moving into a condo within walking distance of her employment.
She is proud of her independence and looks forward to having friends and co-workers
over to her new place.

Perkins has worked alongside with NIVC Services for several years and states,
“It’s always a positive experience. It’s wonderful how much the staff puts in to
ensure that their clients have the skills and knowledge to work at a job that
best fits their needs. We enjoy working with NIVC and giving people the
opportunity that they have wanted in a job. “

Kiran Ernst
Kiran Ernst “I love to work because my
team relies on me.”

Some may refer to Duane
Paulsen as a local celebrity in
the Hampton Dumont School
district. Duane works at the bus
barn at the school district where
he takes pride in keeping the
buses and bus barns clean.

Dan Schipper, Transportation
Director, with Hampton-Dumont
Community School District states
“Duane is a hard worker and a
valued member of our staff. We
look forward to the days that
Duane works. He always puts a
smile on our faces with his great
attitude and sense of humor!
I would like to thank NIVC Services
and their staff for offering
an excellent program and support
for Duane and our district.”

Duane always knew that he
wanted to work and give back
to his community and thanks everyone
at NIVC Services for making
this happen.

On Saturday mornings you
can usually find him at the local
Hardees visiting with the local
farmers. He is also a hat collector
and has a collection of over
500 hats.

Duane Paulsen
Duane Paulsen “I Enjoy the Reward of
Working”

“Never give up. There is
always light at the end of
the tunnel.”

Terrance Jones has a new outlook
on life after starting his employment
with Sukup Manufacturing.
He would tell you that he
used to identify himself as a taker
and now he identifies as a working
man.

Terrance says he now has more
self-worth and his life has a purpose.
At Sukup he has mastered
building boxes and ladders and
he really enjoys joking with his
co-workers. He believes that life
is better when you are laughing.

Samantha Munoz with Sukup
states, “Sukup Manufacturing
provides meaningful employment
and having Terrance as part
of our team has been beneficial
to both him and the company. He
is always upbeat, ready to work,
and gets along with all of his coworkers.
He catches on quick and
is always wanting to learn new
jobs.”

Samantha shares her experience
with NIVC Services: “Hope
has been wonderful to work
with. She has been there for every
aspect of Terrance’s journey.
From applying, to checking out
the specific job he would be doing,
his first day, and becoming a
Sukup employee. She keeps the
line of communication open for
Terrance and myself if there are
any issues.”

Terrance is also thankful for his
job coach Hope Polk and NIVC
Services for their support and
keeping him accountable. His
advice for anyone who may be
struggling with self-worth is to
“Never give up. There is always
light at the end of the tunnel.”

Terrance Jones
Terrance Jones “I wasn’t proud before but I am very proud
now.”

Jolene (Jo) Hughes has
made great strides in her life.
“My definition of success is
Jo,” said Carrie Lau from the
North Iowa Transition Center.

Jolene Hughes spent over 8
years in a mental health institution
before she started making
big improvements in her
life. Now she lives in her own
apartment with her cat named
Wiggles.

Jolene is very active in her
community. When she is not
working at Dollar Tree she enjoys
crafting projects she finds
on Pinterest or crocheting
blankets for her church, First
Congregational United Church
of Christ, in Mason City. Jo has
also started mentoring and
hopes to help inspire others
and give them a shoulder to
lean on.

She credits her success to
the North Iowa Transition Center
and thanks them for never
giving up on her and giving
her the support she needed.
She knows that without their
help she would be back in an
institution. With a smile on
her face she says “look at me
now!”

Jolene Hughes
Jolene Hughes “Look at me now!”

LuAnn Tokehein is one of
many smiling faces at Faith Lutheran
Home in Osage, Iowa.
She enjoys working in the laundry
room with her co-workers,
but she especially enjoys the
residents. She makes it a point
to always check in with the
residents.

Her favorite memories include
participating with everyone
in the Fourth of July parade,
receiving a lunch box and
pin from her employer and getting
a Snickers candy bar, her
favorite, as an appreciation gift
from her supervisor Cindy.

According to Cindy Grahm,
Environmental Services Supervisor,
“LuAnn is very friendly
with the staff and the residents
and always has a smile.
She does a good job and likes
to keep busy. I think that the
NIVC program is absolutely
wonderful and look forward
to working with them for
years to come.”

LuAnn Tokehein
LuAnn Tokehein “I like helping people.”

Work For All

If you or a family member are seeking employment, this is the place for you to get help finding a job. We help match your skills and interests to jobs in your community. We also follow up for as long as needed to ensure your success!

Community Support

Our Support Community Living and Community Support Services programs assist those who live in the community who need services to help provide them extra support in their endeavors to be happy, healthy, and self-sufficient.

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