Simelwe Dlova sits quietly at her desk in the trailer that serves as temporary office space for a small group of Hoosier Crane employees. She works in the IT department and is currently spending much of her time helping to configure the networking for the new building Hoosier Crane has purchased.
“It’s been an interesting experience,” says Simelwe about her first month or so at Hoosier Crane. “It’s an experience that will be very valuable in the future. I’m still figuring things out.”
Simelwe recently graduated from Goshen College with a degree in Informatics, a combination of computer science and information technology. She was recruited by Hoosier Crane through LinkedIn, otherwise she says she probably never would have even known about the company.
“She’s quick to learn and she knows how to figure things out on her own,” says Joe St. Clair, Hoosier Crane’s IT Director.
Born and raised in South Africa, Simelwe spent most of her life living in the small community of Mthatha. She says opportunities for women there were scarce, but she was fortunate enough to make some connections with a missionary couple from Goshen, and those connections eventually led her to the United States and Goshen College.
“It took some time. I first applied to Goshen in 2007, again in 2011, and then I was accepted in 2014.”
When she came over to the United States she had to leave four younger siblings behind. Her three brothers and sister still live in South Africa and she says they are doing OK. Both her parents have passed. She currently lives in Goshen with her 8-year-old daughter Asiko, but she eventually wants to return to her home country.
“I want to work with kids, especially young women, and help them deal with conflict resolution. There has been so much conflict in South Africa.”
Simelwe says an organization in Cape Town called SADRA Conflict Transformation has invited her to work for them once she gets her master’s degree in conflict transformation. It’s a degree she wants to pursue, as well as a master’s in computer science.
“So, I would also like to teach basic technology skills to help young people in South Africa get jobs, but also help them to find themselves and use their talents to make a living.”