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The Department of Human Services contracts with PROMISE JOBS to provide welfare reform services to mandatory participants who are receiving a monthly cash grant from the state. 

Two young boysPROMISE JOBS, or “PROMoting Independence and Self-Sufficiency through Employment Job Opportunities and Basic Skills,” is Iowa’s welfare reform program designed to assist Family Investment Program (FIP) recipients to become self sufficient. PROMISE JOBS is a participation requirement for most FIP recipients. Participants develop an individualized “Family Investment Agreement,” or FIA, that outlines what steps they will take to leave public assistance. Persons who fail to participate or comply with their FIA are considered to have chosen a Limited Benefit Plan (LBP), and lose their FIP benefits.

In Cedar Rapids, PROMISE JOBS staff are located at the IowaWORKS One-Stop Center, 4444 First Ave NE, Ste 436. In Iowa City, PROMISE JOBS staff are located at the Iowa Workforce Center at 1700 South First Ave. in Suites 11-B and Suite 25E. The PROMISE JOBS staff serve residents of Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties.

A number of activities are available to PROMISE JOBS participants, including:

  • Extended Assessment – A workshop designed to help participants gain confidence, deal with change, set goals, and think positively about their future. An interest inventory and aptitude test are included.

  • Life Skills – A workshop that covers money management, home repair, car repair, housing information, nutrition, parenting information, etc. 

  • Job Seeking Skills – A workshop that covers proper interviewing techniques, résumés, how to fill out a job application, and other work search information.

  • Job Search

  • Work Experience Placement – WEP combines work site assignment and job search activities for persons  lacking work skills, with out-of-date skills, or demonstrated problems finding employment.

  • Monitored Employment – Full-or part-time unsubsidized employment.

  • Basic Education – Includes assistance with high school completion, GED, Adult Basic Education, and English as a Second Language.

  • Post-Secondary Classroom Training – Includes assistance with academic and vocational training, that prepares participants for a specific area of employment. Assistance is dependent on abilities and aptitudes, available funding, and other requirements. There is currently a 24-month funding limit on all approved post-secondary education.

  • Parenting Skills – A workshop designed to help participants become a better parent including parenting, child growth and development and effective communication.

  • Family Development Services – help overcoming significant family barriers.

  • Family Planning Services – An option for everyone referred to PROMISE JOBS. Participants can find out how additional children can affect a family’s finances.

  • Job Coaching – Assistance to individuals to enhance job success.

Picture of a familyNot everyone participates in all of the items listed above, but certain groups are required to complete certain activities in order to maintain FIP eligibility. Some financial assistance for transportation and childcare is available for PROMISE JOBS participants, depending on the activity. Limited funding for car repairs, work clothing, and other approvable costs is also available to help participants who are job ready or already employed.

For more information on PROMISE JOBS eligibility and participation requirements contact your county Department of Human Services office. Or, call an Iowa Workforce Development PROMISE JOBS office in your area. In Cedar Rapids at (319) 365-9474 Extension 31197. In Iowa City, call (319) 351-1035.


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