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Opportunities for Youth Through the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families

Ahmed Agyman

February 16, 2022


In the first 2022 episode of the Future Ready DSM podcast, Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families Director Dr. Ahmed Agyeman discusses his upbringing, his role at the Evelyn K. Davis Center, where staff focuses on financial education and asset building, education and workforce training and work support, talent development opportunities and more.

Navigating the Pandemic + Assisting Clients

Once things began to open up again as the pandemic changed, the Evelyn K. Davis Center focused on the following priorities:

1.    Safety

2.    Virtual services (including resume workshops, online programming with higher attendance rates)

3.    Community awareness that the Center is open (both in-person services and finding their new location)

4.    Understanding new needs post-pandemic

Agyeman said that barriers which previously held people back from receiving Evelyn K. Davis Center services were removed with the virtual offerings. Participants no longer had to find child care or transportation. Now, with a more hybrid approach, those who benefit from the online offerings can get those, while those who have a barrier with technology (in that they might not have access to reliable tech) can receive what they need in person.

Year-Round Internship Program

Youth Excel into Careers and Leadership, or Y-EXCL, is a formerly summer, now year-round internship opportunity to build skill, confidence and communication skills for students ages 14 to 21 years old. It’s a way for students looking to take that next step in their education to earn money and work with local businesses like Hy-Vee, while also acquiring college credit. Youth who currently experience barriers to employment, including those with disabilities, youth from underserved communities and those who live in Des Moines’ urban core will have a preference in this program.

You can find out more about Y-EXCL in the video below:


Finding Talent

Clients with multiple part-time jobs, or those in the gig economy, are often looking for something better, or a full-time job with benefits. Some may need flexibility, while others may look for on-site child care for employees. Agyeman said that the basic benefits don’t work, and employees are looking for benefits that go beyond and meet the employee’s needs, or their family’s needs.

Learn more about Evelyn K. Davis Center programs here.

Listen to the full podcast above.

The Future Ready DSM podcast brings Greater Des Moines (DSM) employment leaders and experts in to discuss the latest trends in talent attraction and retention in the region. Hosted by Greater Des Moines Partnership Senior Vice President of Talent Development Dr. Marvin DeJear.

Future Ready DSM

The Future Ready DSM Podcast brings Greater Des Moines (DSM) employment leaders and experts in to discuss the latest trends in talent attraction and retention in the region.