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Iowa Workforce Development
Region 3&4
Serving Northwest Iowa

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Region 3&4 Workforce
Development Center

Spencer IowaWORKS Center

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Mother sitting on bench with 2 childrenPROMISE JOBS, or “Promoting Independence and Self Sufficiency through Employment,” 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.

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

  • Assessments – Aptitudes and interests are evaluated to help participants determine their best route to self-sufficiency.

  • Workshops – Workshops are offered covering money management, parenting information, life skills, etc.

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

  • Job Search – Skills for finding employment.

  • On-the-Job Training – Full time, paid employment for persons lacking work skills, with out-of-date skills, or demonstrated problems finding employment.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, which 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 – Training that helps participants become a better parent.

  • 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.

  • Entrepreneurial Training – Training for participants interested in self-employment.

Father holding 2 childrenCertain 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 the the Governmental Services Center in Spencer at (712) 262-1971 or your county Department of Human Services office.

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