Four Oaks Workforce Development Program helps reduce staffing shortages

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:13 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Four Oaks Workforce Development program works with young adults ages 14 through 26 to provide them with paid employment opportunities in the community, while developing valuable life skills.

“We know that youth and young adults just need to explore. They need to figure out what they want to do, what they want to be, and how they’re going to get there,” said Jamie Robinson, Four Oaks Workforce Development Program director.

The program has also provided local businesses with valuable employees amid pandemic-related staffing shortages.

Koch Landscaping has worked with Four Oaks for 2 years to provide them with employees during their busiest seasons. Koch CEO, Travis Koch, says it has become increasingly harder to find employees, but this partnership with Four Seasons has helped him remain fully staffed.

“It’s been incredible. We couldn’t have done it on our own. We’re incredibly thankful for the partnership and look forward to more to come,” said Koch.

Koch has hired full-time employees as a result of the program.

“To be able to give back is incredible. Seeing it come full circle has been amazing. We’ve done two programs now with Four Oaks. And each program we have hired one of the participants on and seeing them come through and really thrive is really great feeling,” said Koch.

Robinson says the program aims to build the future generations of employees in Iowa.

“A lot of our participants have said, This is great. I want to go into this field I want to do apprenticeships, I want to explore what’s next,” said Robinson.

Robinson also says Four Oaks is always looking for businesses to provide young adults with real work experiences. To contact Four Oaks about the program call 319-784-2267 or email

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