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CHOICE Employment Services in Decorah will expand their business into the Des Moines area

Posted: Sun, Aug 11, 2019 4:55 PM
CHOICE Employment Services Des Moines Regional Director Jordan Nelson

Former educator Jordan Nelson of Ankeny has been hired as a new Des Moines regional director by CHOICE Employment Services in Decorah to lead CHOICE's effort to expand their business into the Des Moines market.
CEO Carrie Dahlquist of the Decorah-based company says the Des Moines business model will remain the same "supported employment" method CHOICE uses in northeast Iowa.  She says CHOICE contracts with Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services along with Iowa MCOs.
"When I was in education, I really enjoyed spending time in classrooms, especially with teachers who worked with special needs kids," said Nelson, who has been a teacher, basketball coach and administrator for 14 years. "I liked being able to watch them grow. So as I saw what CHOICE did, it seemed like a good fit…The capacity to be able to help people who might not get help from other places, to empower those with disabilities to find and maintain employment, means a lot to me," he said.  

Dahlquist says the success of supported employment is partly due to the "job coaches" Nelson will supervise.  The coaches spend time one-on-one with a new worker who has a disability. The coaches can reinforce the training the employee receives, reminding them of company policy or helping to develop a workaround that allows a job to get done, regardless of disabilities