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Nominations open for first Iowa Job Honor Awards

DES MOINES — The Iowa Job Honor Awards is accepting nominations for its first awards event to be conducted June 10 in Cedar Rapids. Launched earlier this month, the awards will celebrate Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment and the employers who hire them.

“Our society celebrates lottery winners, celebrities and professional athletes,” said Kyle Horn, founder and director. “Yet if these are the only paths to self-sufficiency, then most Iowans will never escape poverty. We rarely hear inspiring stories of individuals who have lifted themselves from poverty through the hard work and perseverance that leads to meaningful employment. It’s time for a new kind of hero.”

The first Iowa Job Honor Awards will be presented in front of more than 500 influential Iowa business leaders at the annual Iowa Association of Business and Industry conference June 9 to 11 in Cedar Rapids.   

Top employee honorees will bring home $500 each, and winners in both the employee and employer categories will receive engraved awards. Biographical videos will be presented for all honorees.

“Expect some deeply moving personal stories,” Horn said.

Nominations are invited through the organization’s website, Those who wish to nominate candidates are encouraged to act quickly, before the April 1 deadline.

“In our launch year we’re forced to compress our nominating period, select honorees, and produce videos in time for the June event,” Horn said. “Next year we’ll allow much more time for nominations.” 

Horn explains his motivation to launch the Iowa Job Honor Awards developed through his work as business development manager for global staffing firm Manpower.

“I frequently interact with business leaders who complain that Iowa’s dwindling workforce and widening skills gap are hindering business expansion in our state. At the same time, I see thousands of unemployed and underemployed Iowans struggling to find good jobs. Together, we can do more to bridge this gap.”

The Iowa Job Honor Awards is an annual awards ceremony celebrating Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. The goal of the awards is to inspire more unemployed and underemployed Iowans to utilize available resources, acquiring the skills that can transform their lives, and encourage companies to hire the Iowans who complete these programs. The mission of IJHA is to rekindle hope and energize the work ethic across Iowa, through the celebration of a new kind of hero.

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