One year Anniversary: Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families Fulfills Community Needs with Workforce Development

Aug. 26, 2013 null

One year Anniversary

The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families is a center for integrated delivery of workforce training and services. The work carried out at the Evelyn K. Davis Center includes job search assistance and career enrichment programs, literacy assessments and improvement aid, career benefits screening, income tax preparation, aid with financial literacy and debt reduction plans, as well as other types of individualized assistance. Clients at the Center receive direct placement assistance, support services, training and access to education providers. Visitors to the Center are recipients of an integrated approach facilitated by many community partners. The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families also includes a re-engagement-to-education component to provide clients with an entry point to complete their education or obtain new skills.  


Now, after one year of operation, Marvin DeJear, the Center's Operations Manager, is able to confidently say that the Center is well on the way to fulfilling these community needs.  Workforce and employment training are now available at the Center and C-Fresh Grocery opened in January. There are 3,579 current active participants in the Center's programs, and a total of 4,871 who have accessed the Center's services since opening one year ago.


DeJear says, "We've created something special here that's already had a strong impact on peoples' lives in the community.  Now with some months under our belt, we can focus more on building long-term relationships with clients and helping to create a pathway for them to earn life-sustaining wages."    


Affie Robinson moved to Des Moines from Chicago looking for a better life for herself and her son, and was one of the first clients at the Center.  Robinson says the Center "helped with my resume, helped connect me to child care and helped make career connections.  They really use all of the community resources available to them." She is now a certified nurse's assistant at Bickford Cottage in West Des Moines.  


"The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families has exactly all of the programming and partnerships in one place to truly impact generational poverty. It is a model we need to have across the country. We need to implement these best practices of having programs such as YouthBuild, Gateway to College, the partnerships with community colleges and corporations all within one location," said Dr. Peter B. Edelman, Professor of Law Georgetown University.  


Families and individuals can come to the Center to improve their financial position and achieve their work and career goals.  Its central location and use of partnership among community leaders and businesses make the Center a truly collaborative project.  Community leaders, neighborhood residents and local businesses are working together to create change, improve quality of life and facilitate significant impact in Des Moines' urban core.

View the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families Annual Report.