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Mission Impossible Podcast

Our mission: to introduce listeners to new opportunities that strengthen Iowa's workforce.

Mission: Employable is a weekly podcast focused on workforce-related topics in Iowa. We will feature conversations with industry professionals about a variety of programs, resources, and training opportunities to help Iowans reach their employment goals . Whether you are an employer looking to expand your workforce, or a job seeker looking for a new career, the podcast has something for everyone!

Tune in every Tuesday for the latest episode: Listen to All Episodes (Available on Apple, Spotify, and Amazon)

Now hosted by Ben Oldach and Kathy Leggett. Produced by the Iowa Workforce Development Communications Bureau.


May 2023

It’s no secret that a strong child care system is key to supporting a strong workforce. Sheri Penney, Employment Engagement Director for the Iowa Women’s Foundation, talks about some of the creative ways employers and communities are working together to solve local child care challenges. Find out how members of a small Iowa community have worked together to raise their child care workers’ pay by over two dollars an hour, and how your community can get started on similar solutions.  

April 2023

Apprenticeships are an integral part of how trade unions recruit, train, and retain skilled workers. Andy Roberts, Business Director for the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 33, joins the show to talk about training and employment opportunities available in high-demand careers. Find out what exactly a “steamfitter” is and how the Local 33 is working to encourage women and underrepresented populations consider an apprenticeship in the trades. 

Direct Care workers are a vital part of Iowa’s health care industry because the need for them is expected to grow 19% by the year 2040.  Di Findley, Executive Director of the Iowa CareGivers Association, talks about how this high-demand career impacts Iowans who need some of the most personalized care.  Find out how the Iowa CareGivers Association can help employers hire direct care workers to fill gaps in various health care positions.  

March 2023

Veterans and their spouses are part of a skilled talent pool that can be the perfect match for employers.  Kandi Tillman, Director of 50 Strong, shares her personal connection to the Veteran community and how it inspired her to establish an organization that helps match Veterans and their spouses with rewarding career opportunities. Find out how the Arizona-based organization promotes networking opportunities to help Iowa businesses find skilled workers.  

Community health care workers can help bridge the gap when it comes to Iowa’s health care workforce.  Angie Doyle Scar from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, and Deb Kazmerzak, Program Director at the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium, help define what a community health care worker is, and how they are using a federal grant to train workers in Iowa. 

February 2023

Women only make up 4% of the trades workforce nationally, but Iowa is trying to grow that number. Samantha Groark, Executive Director of Central Iowa Building Trades, joins the show to talk about the upcoming Women in Trades Conference on March 4. Find out what makes events like this one so valuable and hear her pitch to women who are considering a career in this high-demand industry.   

The new year provides new opportunities for Iowans looking for their dream job and we’re here to help!  Listen in as Career Planner Team Lead Jennifer DiOrio shares some of her favorite tips for resume writing, virtual interviews, and more! Find out just how many helpful career resources are available at no cost to you at our IowaWORKS Centers across the state. 

January 2023

Sometimes a second chance is what it takes for someone to jumpstart their career journey.  We sit down with Joseph Johnson, Founder and CEO of Change Course, a new Des Moines-based non-profit that helps those who want to leave addiction, incarceration, or other barriers to employment in their rear-view mirror. Find out why Joseph says this mission is personal to him, and how Change Course is preparing its participants to enter the workforce. 

Employers looking for a fresh start in the New Year can find what they're looking for with our Business Engagement Team. Maria Morales, a Business Engagement Consultant, discusses how Iowa employers can meet with IowaWORKS' team of experts to find hiring and training solutions. Maria also shares how the Business Engagement services are customized for every employer and shares some of the successes she has seen first-hand. 

It’s a new year with new voices on the Mission: Employable Podcast! As we welcome 2023, we also say thank you to host Ryan West, who is handing over the podcast to Ben Oldach and Kathy Leggett. Ben has been with Mission: Employable since the beginning as the producer.  Kathy has been with Iowa Workforce Development for five years leading the Future Ready Iowa initiative and shifting into the new Business Engagement team. They are joining forces to continue the conversation on all things workforce here in Iowa.  

December 2022

As the year comes to an end we want to wish a very special thank you to all of the guests who appeared on the Mission: Employable Podcast. We have some exciting changes planned for 2022 including two new hosts and new workforce success stories! Thanks for being with us this year and we'll see you in January!