KEY In Des Moines - Early Talent Development
KEY in Des Moines stands for Keeping Educated Youth in Des Moines. It is a program connecting employers with area colleges and universities for workforce attraction. Every other month the group hosts free educational sessions. KEY in Des Moines is a division of the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce.
This month's event features a panel to dive into the topic of connecting with students earlier to attract them to future employment opportunities. Each of our panelists work with innovative programs. Avenue Scholars Des Moines and the WorkSmart Connector are working with talent already in high school, and the Insure Your Future, Iowa’s Early Stage College Internship Program is moving internships even earlier into the college years.
Meet our panelists:
- Noelle Nelson, Avenue Scholars Des Moines
- Teri Vos, WorkSmart Connector
- Michael Gould: Insure Your Future, Iowa’s Early Stage College Internship Program
|Noelle Nelson serves as Executive Director of Avenue Scholars Des Moines. Avenue Scholars was founded in Omaha in 2008 by Walter Scott and Dr. Ken Bird with the mission to bridge the gap between education and business for students of hope and need. Noelle is leading the expansion of the program in the Des Moines metro, beginning with East and Roosevelt High Schools in DMPS.
Noelle spent the past 23 years serving as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, administrator, and most recently, as Executive Director of Leadership and Learning, for Des Moines Public Schools. She is passionate about equity of access for all scholars and has committed her career to removing barriers for our most marginalized groups.
|Teri Vos is Director of Work-Based Learning for WorkSMART Connector, a collaboration of employers, educators and communities in Marion County, Iowa. It connects area talent to local careers, in partnership with the Career Academy of Pella and Central College. Students (K-16) are engaged in pathways through career awareness and exploration, work-based learning experiences, employment and personal growth.
Vos is a longtime advocate for Iowa’s workforce, having worked with Iowa employers in public and community relations roles for more than 30 years. Her focus turned to motivating students toward Iowa’s workforce when leading the development of Iowa’s High School Registered Apprenticeship Playbook in 2018. Under Vos’s direction, WorkSMART Connector is also recognized as a STEM BEST model, a program of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, through which Vos provides IOWA STEM BEST Program mentor services. The patient care registered apprenticeship program she and partners developed was also recognized at Governor Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State address in January.
Vos serves on the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Central Iowa Workforce Development Board and Chairs Pella’s Workforce Development Council. She has a passion for community development, serving in leadership roles on the City Planning & Zoning Commission, Million Women Mentors, Families First, Pella Wellness Consortium, Christian Schools International Board of Trustees and the Pella Convention and Visitors Board. These opportunities have deepened her commitment to and interest in advancing the well-being of young people, by helping them discover their own passions and skills, role models and opportunities, in Iowa. She and her husband Rob live near Pella and have three children, Jessica (25), Ben (22) and Jack (18).
|Michael Gould has over 32 years of experience in economic development and organization management. Gould serves as manager for business retention and recruitment in the Business Development Division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Gould also serves as the manager of insurance development, data center development and warehouse/distribution projects for IEDA.
In 2022 Gould developed and introduced the first-of-its-kind early-stage internship program for the insurance industry call Insure Your Future. The program will start in 2023 with 70+ early-stage internships from 28 Iowa insurance companies.
In 2020-21 he led Governor Reynold’s COVID Mitigation Task Force for Business assisting over 1,800 businesses with COVID consulting services during the height of the pandemic.
During his 18-year tenure with the IEDA Gould has attracted the investment of over $9 billion in new and existing business expansions in Iowa. Some of the companies he has worked closely with include Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, McKesson, Wells Fargo, Kraft-Heinz, ConAgra, Nestle Purina, Simmons Pet Food, Wellmark, Principal Financial, Fidelity & Guaranty, EMC, Symetra, Sammons, Athene, Sedgwick, Marsh, Sterilite, HON Industries, CRST and Silgan Containers.
Prior to his position at the IEDA, Gould served worked in the private sector for 15 years as President and CEO of the Fort Collins (CO) Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Director of Convention and Tourism for the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gould is a graduate of Economic Development Institute and the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management. He has also received the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Drake University and has initiated work on a master’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Northern Iowa.