Youth Work Readiness Programs – Connect 2 Careers and Youth Work Readiness


Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) offers two programs – Connect 2 Careers (C2C) and Youth Employment Program (YEP) – tailored to youth and young adults. Both programs, which provide educational, career, and vocational services, are funded by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA). Both C2C and YEP are proud partners in the American Job Center Network.

Program Locations:

C2C is operated out of CFI’s Des Moines office. Program meets at 1200 University Avenue, Suite 206, Des Moines, Iowa.
serving youth and young adults in Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Polk, Story, and Warren counties.

YEP is operated out of CFI’s Fort Dodge office, serving youth and young adults in Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright counties.

Additional Program Information:

Staff focus on providing services that focus on assisting youth and young adults identify a career pathway based on their individual skills, interests, abilities and current labor market demands. Participants are encouraged to explore career pathways in high demand fields such as healthcare, information technology, transportation, manufacturing and financial services.

Specific program activities include:

  • Identifying career pathways: Participants work on employment readiness skills; customer service and other pre-employment training; job retention skills; job shadows; paid and unpaid work experiences; and internships.
  • Pursuing education and developing life skills: Participants receive support in working toward a high school diploma or the equivalency; post-secondary education and certificate opportunities; financial literacy and life skills training; and connection to community resources.

Program Eligibility, Enrollment and Cost:

To be eligible for either C2C or YEP enrollment, participants must:

  • Be a United States citizen or non-citizen authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Meet Military Selective Service registration requirements (applicable for males 18 years and older)
  • Be 14-24 years old at enrollment
  • Be found eligible under WIOA guidelines to be considered an In-School Youth (ISY) or Out-of-School Youth (OSY)

Program enrollment is voluntary and free for participants.

Learn More:

To learn more about C2C and YEP, contact:

  • Connect 2 Careers (C2C) –, call the program director at 1-515-494-6641 or contact the Youth Center at 1-515-205-9981
  • Youth Employment Program (YEP) – or call 515-573-2193