Central Iowa Works, an initiative of the United Way of Central Iowa, seeks to close central Iowa’s skills gap and meet the needs of employers by helping businesses recruit and hire qualified workers. Serving both businesses and individuals, the collaborative supports jobseekers by helping them get trained and hired for real jobs with pathways to growth. CIW’s mission is to strengthen and expand industry partnership in health care, energy/construction, financial services, and advanced manufacturing with a focus on connecting the region’s employers, jobseekers, and community-based organizations to develop a stronger workforce and a stronger economy.
Financial & Business Services
Advanced Manufacturing Partnership
Iowa manufacturers are struggling to find qualified workers and attract younger workers and new talent to the industry. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership is working to grow central Iowa’s manufacturing workforce by working with Elevate Iowa to attract younger workers to the industry, partnering with the Iowa Corrections system to train incarcerated individuals and prepare them for employment after release, and by helping jobseekers and incumbent workers strengthen their manufacturing skills.
The Construction Partnership is working to attract more workers to the industry, especially younger workers, minorities, and women. Last year, the partnership secured an apprenticeship grant from the state of Iowa to expand pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships in Iowa. It is also hosting job fairs and working with local school districts to encourage young people to enter the construction industry. Recruitment and training is also directed to minorities, women, and people with an incarceration history.
Financial Services Partnership
Operating since 2010, the Financial Services Partnership supports local residents seeking employment in the region’s strong financial services industry and helps financial service organizations to find and hire adequately trained workers. The partnership focuses on serving local employers and placing qualified candidates into insurance, banking, customer service, and call center positions. Using its Business Services and Operations Academy and Central Iowa Works Skills to Success program, the partnership trains individuals in business operations and customer service, including digital literacy, financial literacy, and work readiness. The program also supports multiple networking opportunities and encourages authentic connections among employers, jobseekers, and members of the community throughout the nine-week program.
Health Care Partnership
The Central Iowa Careers in Healthcare partnership supports individuals in health care training programs, assimilates English language learners into the workforce, and advocates for better pay for direct care workers. By helping more individuals develop skills in health care, the partnership is supporting the region’s health care industry by developing better hiring, training, and workplace learning opportunities.