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Greater Des Moines Partnership and Iowa College Access Network Partner to Promote Talent and Economic Development

February 5, 2015

DES MOINES, IOWA (January 26, 2015) —The Greater Des Moines Partnership is joining forces with the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) to deliver informational and innovative college and career readiness programming and resources to students and parents across Central Iowa. This partnership will enable high school students and families to connect with Central Iowa business and industry leaders to learn about future workforce needs and potential career pathways available to them as they are making choices regarding their futures in Iowa.

“Economic growth is a top focus in today’s changing business world,” said Mary Bontrager, Executive V.P. of the Partnership’s Workforce Development and Education programming.  “By working with ICAN, we can better enable students to make informed decisions about life after high school.”

As part of its strategic collaboration with ICAN, the Greater Des Moines Partnership will sponsor 60 central Iowa-area high schools’ College Planning and Financial Aid Awareness Nights, providing a platform to engage and inform more than 30,000 students, parents, and family members on why Central Iowa is the best place to build a business, a career, and a future.  The Partnership will provide information to students on specific career pathways projected for future growth by Iowa businesses, stimulate economic development, and support initiatives within Des Moines and its surrounding communities to build the future Iowa workforce from today’s youth through strategic talent development, training, and education.  The Partnership will also share tips and content on internships, emerging industries, and career outlooks via ICAN’s online distribution channels.

“Informed decision making is more important today than ever.” said Rob Miller, executive director for the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN). “Today’s students face difficult choices in terms of college affordability and a changing economy. Industries are rapidly changing how they do business and new careers are emerging daily.”

In addition to the support within area high schools, the Partnership has also signed on as a premier sponsor of the 25th Annual Golden Circle College & Career Fair.  Golden Circle is the largest college fair in the state of Iowa, bringing more than 150 colleges and universities from across the state and the nation together with more than 3,000 Iowa students and parents.

“As we celebrate the 25th year of Golden Circle, we are excited to bring the Partnership on board,” stated Miller. “Through this initiative with the Partnership, we hope to expand Golden Circle to include businesses representing various industry and career clusters, providing an opportunity for students to align their future educational experience with a good-paying job from a central Iowa business.”

The ICAN Partnership Program is open to any business, organization or institution with the desire to support long-term economic growth and success for Iowa communities and citizens. ICAN’s work in career and college readiness programming includes age-appropriate in-person presentations, printed guidebooks, access to a comprehensive website, electronic resources containing monthly planning tips and student reminders, and unlimited access to ICAN’s staff of college and career planning experts, via phone or in person, for one-on-one assistance.

“As we look to the needs of today’s students, informed college selection must include career planning,” said John Smith, Partnership Workforce Board Chair.  “Students can match their career and college aspirations to the needs of Iowa businesses, tailoring their educational training to the skills sought by these emerging industries.” 

ICAN’s programs and services are developed and presented by ICAN’s highly trained student success advisors on topics such as high school planning, college and career planning, financial literacy, successful college transitions and financial aid. ICAN serves more than 500,000 students and parents annually. Students are encouraged to check with their high school counseling offices for the dates, times and locations of ICAN presentations in their area or visit Students can also contact ICAN toll-free at 877-272-4692, emailing, or visiting

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About ICAN

The Iowa College Access Network is a nonprofit, educational organization. ICAN is the College Access Network for Iowa, and a member of the National College Access Network (NCAN). ICAN has locations in Ankeny, Cedar Rapids/Hiawatha, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Orange City, Ottumwa, Sioux City, and Waterloo, which provide information and support to students and their families as they plan their post-secondary education and apply for financial aid. All ICAN programs and services are provided without charge. For more information about ICAN, call (877) 272-4692 or visit

About The Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization serving Central Iowa, united to drive economic growth with one voice, one mission, and as one region.  Together with 21 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and 5,300 business members, the Partnership grows opportunity, creates jobs, and promotes the best place to build a business, a career, and a future.


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