Central Iowa Works strives to create a thriving workforce that drives the success of all central Iowans. We convene and support job seekers, businesses, and nonprofit and agency partners to collectively build solutions that address hiring and retention challenges in specific areas. Our initiatives include: 

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Thriving Workforce Campaign

This campaign promotes six areas that can improve hiring, retention, and employee well-being. We provide small and medium-sized employers with specific strategies and local examples they can use. We also help guide job seekers through the process of finding and applying for job opportunities. 

Resources for Job Seekers

Thriving Pathways

Through a grant with The National Fund, Central Iowa Works is partnering with small- and medium-sized businesses in central Iowa to implement Thriving Workforce strategies. Experienced business consultants meet with organizations to learn about their business and employee needs and then help identify, implement, and evaluate strategies to determine what works best. 

“I think the hospitality industry at this point in time is at a pivotal moment as far as increasing wages and being more creative, and bridging the gap between generations of old hospitality and the new hospitality.” – Kristen Amfahr-Cox, Business Consultant


Healthcare IconHealth Care

Launched in 2017, Central Iowa HealthWorks has supported nearly 600 central Iowans seeking careers in health care to receive training. Nearly three-fourths of participants represent minority populations, who are under-represented in this sector. The project has been funded by a $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This project will strengthen our local economy as individuals receive the education and assistance they need to qualify for critical jobs.” – Mary Sellers, President, United Way of Central Iowa


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Individuals with a Criminal Record

Launched in fall 2018, The CIRCA (Central Iowa Returning Citizens Achieve) project has assisted 205 individuals returning from prison connect with employment, housing, and other services in the community. The goal of this project is to reduce the number of returning citizens who commit another crime. Key to that is helping individuals secure a good job. 

“Most people who are incarcerated will, at some point, return to the community. In order for them to be successful, in order for our community to be safe, we need opportunities for them to be successful. There are a lot of people who want to do the right thing but don't have the support system.” – CIRCA Case Manager


Building New Careers

The Building New Careers initiative works with labor unions, apprenticeship programs, and other partners to teach job skills and offer academic credentials to individuals seeking to enter jobs in building and construction. This initiative especially supports individuals who may be struggling to find a job, including individuals who have a criminal record, those without a high school diploma, and veterans. 

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Public Policy

Skills2Compete is a statewide coalition convened by Central Iowa Works to build policymaker support for growing Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce. Members advocate for policies that increase opportunities for adult education and workforce training.