Blog Posts

Grants Help Des Moines Center Overcome Obstacle to Quality Child Care


June 15, 2022
The long story of Precious Beginnings Children Center began with a need: A majority of children in some Des Moines neighborhoods were turning up for Kindergarten unprepared to start school. “We basically identified that if we were going to change the trajectory for these kids, we had to get them into child care,” said Philip Herman, pastor at... Read More

Virtual Job Club: Expert Online Advice about Resumes, Interviews, etc.


June 15, 2022
It was roughly 90 minutes into the Zoom meeting when Kyle Welter unmuted to ask for advice. “You know, the biggest issue I’m struggling with is just getting people to respond back to me,” said Welter. His recent interview for a human resources job had gone well, and the interviewer had given every indication that an offer would be coming. Then... Read More

IWD Career Planners Point Veterans to New Opportunities


May 5, 2022
Sue May understands the difference that a good helper can make. Thirty years ago, as she was leaving the U.S. Air Force, there was the helpful Veteran Service Officer in Nebraska who guided May through some hospital paperwork and started her down the path to getting a college degree. Much later, she met a Sioux City workforce advisor who helped... Read More

IowaWORKS Cedar Rapids Helping Refugees Sew Seeds for New Careers


May 5, 2022
There are two things to know about hiring refugees, explains Jamel Ajram, son of the Lebanese immigrant who created Ajram Upholstery and Fabric in Cedar Rapids in 1969. First, is the need to accommodate religion. Most of the roughly 245 Afghanistan refugees who landed in Cedar Rapids last fall are Muslim, and they therefore need short breaks... Read More

Axis U Using Free Online Education to Find Companies Workers


May 3, 2022
Despite the fact that demand for workers has never been higher, Christian Gray still believes there’s untapped potential out there that Iowa employers never see in a job interview – largely because they only interview people who apply for jobs bearing two- or four-year degrees. Gray, who two years ago formed a new company aimed at helping Iowa... Read More

NW Iowa Care Center Uses Grant-funded Lab to Train Nursing Assistants


May 3, 2022
Bridget Hanner walked into the Pleasant View Care Center in Whiting last year hoping that they would pay her to wash dishes or fold laundry. Instead, she suddenly found herself on a path to a new health care career. Hanner, a lifelong resident of northwest Iowa, had a large gap in her resume after quitting work 26 years ago to raise a daughter... Read More

Promoting Innovation by Teaching Teens Tech


May 3, 2022
Nancy Mwirotsi sees the potential in making connections. But her drive is to make you see it, too. Mwirotsi, a Kenyan immigrant now nearing the end of her seventh year as executive director year of Pi515, a highly respected nonprofit in Des Moines, sees both looming challenges and enormous possibility for Iowa’s economy in the years ahead. “... Read More

State Center Used Grant to Build a Peace Officer Pipeline


May 3, 2022
McKenna Link has always admired police officers. But for a long time, she believed that her status as a 5-foot, 2-inch woman with a high-pitched voice kept her from seriously considering law enforcement as a viable career opportunity. “It’s something that I completely wrote off, but it’s something that I always wanted to do if given the chance... Read More

IowaWORKS Coordinates Successful Event for TPI Employees


January 13, 2022
More than 335 job seekers attended a two-day job fair in Newton last month, as Iowa Workforce Development and two IowaWORKS offices joined forces to help find new careers for factory workers losing their jobs at TPI Composites. The event was so successful that it sparked a follow-up event earlier this week. Work on the December... Read More

Child Care Grants Open New Options for Iowa Centers


January 13, 2022
At least 25 more children from working poor and immigrant families in Des Moines now have hope for expanded access to Barbie Adams' child care center thanks to a $240,000 grant from the state of Iowa. The money is part of $36.6 million in Child Care grants awarded earlier this week by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. Iowa Workforce Development and... Read More