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.
More families were financially self-sufficient in 2016
Data released in December 2017 showed that the percentage of families in Polk, Warren, and Dallas counties who are financially self-sufficient increased in 2016 to 65.9%, (by 11,003 individuals), after remaining flat for the past three years around 65.2%, moving central Iowa closer to our goal. Central Iowa also saw increases in the number of individuals taking advantage of postsecondary education, a key strategy to increase families' incomes and help employers fulfill a need for skilled workers.
Income Focus Area