Community Income Goal: To increase the percentage of central Iowans who are financially self-sufficient to 75% by 2020.
One out of every three families in central Iowa can barely cover basic daily expenses. And low wages force many families to go without—or to go into debt. In today's economy, families need enough income to cover rising costs of food, housing, health care, transportation, childcare and clothing—or face painful financial choices.
One of the clearest paths to economic self-sufficiency is education and training. Job training and readiness programs remain critical to advancing low-wage, low-skilled workers into self-sustaining jobs (UW Metrics report, p. 24). United Way and its community partners work to strengthen central Iowans' education and skills to prepare them for the better-paying jobs in the local economy.
Since 2015, nearly 25,000 more central Iowans are financially self-sufficient.
The percentage of central Iowans who were financially self-sufficient increased to 67% in 2017, up 1.1% from the previous year and up 1.8% since 2015, according to the latest U.S. Census data released this December.
“Our efforts as a community are working,” said Elisabeth Buck, president of United Way of Central Iowa. “After a six-year downturn, the number of families who are thriving in Polk, Warren, and Dallas Counties is increasing, and that especially means more children are having their basic needs met and are having greater opportunities for healthy development.”
Income Focus Area