The Occupational Development Center (ODC) in Crookston is celebrating National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by sharing their background and understanding of what this month means for their staff, persons served, and partners.

    The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the theme for the 2019 NDEAM is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” This emphasizes the importance of the role that people with disabilities have in America's economic success, especially in an era when historically low unemployment and global competition are creating a high demand for skilled talent.

    NDEAM aims to provide education regarding disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. ODC provides individuals with a multitude of services in life skills, vocational, and employment training needs. They work with businesses in their communities to provide individuals with an option to experience work in a highly integrated setting.

    NDEAM emphasizes the importance of inclusive policies and practices to ensure that all Americans who want to work, can work, and have access to services and supports to enable them to do so. With continued advances in such supports, including accessible technology, it is easier than ever before for America's employers to hire people with disabilities in high-demand jobs.

    ODC’s mission is to develop the skills of individuals with disabilities by providing opportunities for suitable, sustainable employment that results in greater independence. They accomplish this by providing the necessary services and supports. Since their establishment in 1971 in Thief River Falls, MN, they have grown to nine locations and serve over 600 individuals throughout northern Minnesota.

    “We at ODC are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month this October because we want to draw attention to the awesome individuals we serve every day, and the contributions they bring to this area’s workforce, and employer’s,” said Tori Peterson, VP of Programs. “This year’s theme for NDEAM is ‘The Right Talent, Right Now’ and ODC is proud to be a part of the organizations spreading this important message. We value, and encourage all employers to be inclusive of workers with disabilities.”

    ODC is a nonprofit organization specializing in employment skills development and support for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment, working with community businesses to provide options for inclusive and sustainable employment that result in greater independence. The Crookston division is located at 310 South Broadway, Suite 7.


    The Occupational Development Center provides life skills, vocational and employment development services. The organization works closely with community businesses to offer individuals with disabilities an option to experience work in a highly integrated setting.

    Comprised of nine divisions located throughout northern MN, ODC is a diversified organization that adapts to regional needs and opportunities. In addition to work preparedness programs, ODC has several production sites offering manufacturing and subcontracted services. To learn more about the organization, please visit