Career Program for Students Coming to Central Campus
MidAmerican Energy Bringing Avenue Scholars Program to Central Iowa
With the new school year underway, plans are moving forward to launch a student internship and career program in 2022 that will provide workforce development opportunities for Des Moines-area high school students. MidAmerican Energy is partnering with Avenue Scholars to bring its proven model to central Iowa. Avenue Scholars will collaborate with the Des Moines Public Schools to launch the new program in time for students to be enrolled for the 2022-23 school year.
The program will provide coaching and support services to Central Campus high school students by utilizing the successful program model from Avenue Scholars. The program currently works with metropolitan Omaha school districts to provide individualized support services to help students of hope and need identify, and ultimately enter, financially sustaining career paths. Central Campus is a nationally-recognized career and technical program serving students from all five DMPS high schools along with several other central Iowa school districts.
“MidAmerican is proud to connect a proven program like Avenue Scholars to students in central Iowa who – with some additional support and resources – can find opportunities in high-demand and fulfilling careers,” Kathryn Kunert, vice president, economic integration and connections at MidAmerican, said. “Not only will this program have lasting impact on many students’ lives, it will positively expand our future workforce while creating a talent pipeline for organizations like ours to draw from.”
The Des Moines program will focus on high-demand careers identified by Future Ready Iowa in the following industries: healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, construction, engineering, business and education. The program will provide opportunities for diverse and economically challenged student populations within DMPS.
“We very much look forward to our partnership with Avenue Scholars and the many success stories that will result,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, a Des Moines School Board member. “Avenue Scholars goes hand-in-hand with our work to prepare more and more students for the high-demand and well-paid careers needed in our community. The program will play a vital role in elevating those students most deserving of additional support and fuel their success through and beyond high school.”
The Des Moines Avenue Scholars program will also partner with Des Moines Area Community College. During senior year, students will participate in Senior Year Experience programming, which includes either coursework through DMACC or an internship/part-time work in their chosen career pathway. After high school, students can pursue an associate degree or certification at DMACC.
During the next several months, DMPS and Central Campus staff will collaborate with Avenue Scholars and MidAmerican on plans to roll out the program. Recruitment will begin in early 2022 for qualifying students to begin the program at the start of the 2022-23 school year.
“We are thrilled to offer our program to Des Moines students of hope and need and are committed to helping them identify and access the paths to their career goals,” Dr. Ken Bird, president and CEO of Avenue Scholars, said. “We greatly appreciate the generous support of MidAmerican, DMPS and DMACC. This endeavor wouldn’t be possible without their considerate contributions.”
Visit avescholars.org to learn more about the Avenue Scholars program.