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New Initiative Connecting Students to Employers Launches in DSM USA

Des Moines Downtown Chamber Student-to-Employee Initiat

July 19, 2018

What happens when people filled with determination, expertise and passion connect and focus on what they have in common? The answer — boundless energy and potential for building something greater than themselves. That’s happened recently as fifty education, business and student leaders packed the YouthBuild Classroom at Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, joining the Des Moines Downtown Chamber to launch Student-to-Employer (s2e).

Connecting students to employers

s2e is a new initiative of the Downtown Chamber’s Advocacy Committee and six student program partners: Des Moines Public School’s Central Campus, DMACC Urban/Des Moines Campus, Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, GEAR UP Iowa, iJAG and Oakridge Neighborhood. These proven effective programs expand job awareness and occupational experiences for traditional and non-traditional students. And all six partners need more employers. The Downtown Chamber has hundreds of employer Members and in a recent Downtown Chamber Member survey, 95 percent of respondents indicated they would benefit from the Downtown Chamber helping connect them with student interns, while 81 percent were interested in providing job shadow opportunities. s2e is a natural collaboration.

s2e launched June 27 in recognition of MSME Day (micro-, small-, medium-sized enterprises) — a United Nations designated annual celebration recognizing MSME’s significant contributions to inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

Our workforce needs to be equipped with the skills required for jobs of the future and an enabling business environment is necessary for job creation. Globally, across the U.S., in Iowa, and Greater Des Moines (DSM), the mismatch of job skills and labor market requirements means many young people face difficulties securing a job. In Iowa, youth unemployment is more than double that of adults. MSME Day 2018 was dedicated to youth dimension, youth entrepreneurship and youth employment.

Education is the great equalizer

The Downtown Chamber and it’s s2e partners are determined to create more student and employer connections, increase the number of students gaining job and labor skills experience, and to broaden occupational experiences. The hope is to increase student aspirations allowing them to reach their potential and provide a skilled pipeline matching employment needs today and into the future.

s2e compliments The Partnership’s Education Drives our Greater Economy (EDGE) initiative focused on improving education attainment from early childhood learning through life-long learning. EDGE aims to ensure that 75 percent of DSM working-age adults have postsecondary degrees, certificates or other credentials by 2025 that align with workforce needs.

Learn about other Staffing & Hiring resources for your small business in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources Newsletter and stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.