Williston Economic Development adds Intern through Job Service Program

Williston Economic Development adds Intern through Job Service Program

devin1Williston Economic Development (WED) has a new intern. Devin Northington, age 20, joined WED on March 1, 2018. Northington was matched with WED through a Job Service North Dakota program called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The program links eligible youth, aged 14-24, with businesses that are capable of providing a positive educational experience.

“WIOA Youth is here to help our youth gain the soft skills and work readiness they need to achieve their goals,” said WIOA Case Manager Kalynn Brazeal. “Consider Devin, he has an outgoing personality and a history of computer knowledge. WIOA Youth allows me to find just the right fit for him to grow and hone those skills.”

Northington is a 2016 Wolf Point High School graduate and just one credit shy of earning an associate’s degree from Dawson Community College in Glendive, Mont. He said he has really enjoyed the opportunity to work for economic development.

“I was super excited to come here because I was told it would be very similar to chamber work, and that’s something I was familiar with,” said Northington.

Northington’s mother, Kt Northington, was executive director of the Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce several years ago, and Devin remembers helping her orchestrate some of the chamber’s events. 

“I was ‘volun-told’ to do a lot of things,” he joked.

Northington volunteered at Wolf Point’s annual Wild Horse Stampede, Clean Sweep and other events. More recently he worked on the #Unbullied campaign in Williston.

“A lot of the things that economic development does strongly suits my skill set,” said Northington.

Currently there are four qualified businesses waiting for matches in the region. Under the federal program, the workers are employed by Job Service. The youth can work up to 25 hours per week for a maximum of six months. The program provides a unique pathway for individuals to receive on-the-job training.

“WIOA Youth is here for support in overcoming obstacles such as disabilities, low-income, youth parenting and more. The program is grounded on the basis of helping our Youth help themselves, while giving them mentoring and guidance along the way,” said Brazeal.

This is the first time WED has utilized the program, but it probably will not be the last.

“Devin brings a fresh Millennial perspective to the office,” said Shawn Wenko, Williston Economic Development executive director. “He has been able to contribute significantly towards our business development efforts to enhance and promote the quality of life in the community and region.”

Businesses or individuals that would like to learn more about WIOA are encouraged to call WIOA Case Manager Kalynn Brazeal at 701-774-7900.

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