A- A+

DSM Businesses Recognized as 2023 Inclusion Award Winners

Inclusion Summit

November 17, 2023

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has awarded iJAG and City of West Des Moines with 2023 Inclusion Awards during the Inclusion Summit on Nov. 15 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. Along with Bankers Trust, IMT Insurance and Oakridge Neighborhood, iJAG and City of West Des Moines are recognized for their commitment to championing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace and in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community.

Below, read about iJAG, nonprofit winner, and City of West Des Moines, public entity winner:

iJAG: Nonprofit Award Winner

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) is a public-private partnership that drives equity, energizes local economies and contributes to thriving communities. The bridge between public education and the world-of-work, iJAG offers programming that complements middle and high school academics by preparing students to look past graduation, toward a career that offers fulfilling work and financial self-sufficiency. iJAG has secured an authorization process with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners that allows individuals who are not traditional educators to enter the education profession to teach iJAG coursework in grades 7-12. The organization has also implemented a feedback process to monitor staff safety, belonging and retention, as well as partnered with the University of Iowa’s Scanlan Center for School Mental Health to support the well-being of staff, students and other stakeholders. iJAG has also integrated the principles of Healing Centered Engagement, which incorporates culture, spirituality, civil action and mobilizes collective healing to provide Trauma Informed Care. Along with these initiatives, iJAG is working to launch an Alumni Network to alumni to continue to stay involved in iJAG programming, mentorship and development in the Des Moines community. In 2021, iJAG also formed an Equity Resource Group (ERG) to improve work conditions and make the workplace psychologically safe for everyone. Learn more at ijag.org.

City of West Des Moines: Public Entity Winner

The City of West Des Moines is a diverse and rapidly growing community that sits in part of Polk, Dallas, Warren and Madison counties. Originally incorporated as a railroad town in 1983 as Valley Junction with a population of 500, it is now a bustling hub of commerce and quality living with over 68,723 people. The City of West Des Moines workforce is comprised of a diverse number of individuals and is actively working to increase representation. Its DEI initiatives and practices include launching a citywide Belonging and Engagement Survey to measure employee experience and perceptions, hosting monthly Lunch & Learn events on topics to promote an inclusive workplace and sponsoring DEI events and programs in West Des Moines and the broader Metro, including the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Symposium, Iowa Juneteenth, Iowa Asian Alliance’s CelebrAsian, Polk County Welcoming Week – Free Community Meal, Historic Valley Junction Foundation’s annual Cinco De Mayo, Taste of the Junction Multicultural Festival and many more. Learn more at wdm.iowa.gov.

Find out more about the Inclusion Awards, and each of the winners at DSMpartnership.com.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Dr. Marvin DeJear

Dr. Marvin DeJear is the former director of the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families.