The Willis Dady Employment Program empowers clients to break the cycle of homelessness by connecting them to supported employment opportunities in the greater Cedar Rapids area. We work with local businesses, governments, and other organizations to develop creative partnerships that meet the needs of both clients and employers.
Are you an employer looking for a new pipeline of diverse employees?
Currently we have two major employment programs: The Supportive Staffing Program and The Ambassador program.
Supportive Staffing Program with Frontier Co-Op
Clients begin their path to stability as a supported temporary employee with Willis Dady at Frontier Co-op’s light manufacturing plant where herbs, spices and seasonings are packaged and shipped. We work with clients and their managers on an individual plan to help them succeed and become full time employees of Frontier. The Supportive Staffing Program also provides an opportunity for transportation to and from work to Frontier in Norway, IA.
Supportive Staffing in the news
Willis Dady wants businesses struggling to find workers to reach out to them, Phil Reed, KCRG TV 9, 10/17/2019
Willis Dady looking for businesses to take part in employment program, Phil Reed, KCRG TV 9, 10/17/2019
Co-op and nonprofits team up helps find jobs for those facing adversity Michaela Ramm, The Gazette, 2/8/2019
I couldn’t be more proud of the work we are doing together through this collaboration. Willis Dady has helped make the transition for the apprentices smooth and seamless.
- Jodi Wacha, Human Resources
Frontier Co Op
Ambassadors Pilot Program
The Ambassadors Pilot Program employs clients of Willis Dady Homeless Services who have experienced homelessness and are stabley housed currently to serve as peer support for the downtown homeless community and help create a respectful, welcoming atmosphere for everyone in the downtown area.
A partnership of Cedar Rapids Police Department, Public Library, Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation, Cedar Rapids Transit Department, Metro Economic Alliance/Downtown District, Willis Dady and Linn County, Ambassadors are stationed in and around Greene Square Park during the summer months where they engage with people, provide information about local resources, de-escalate situations before conflict, and help remove trash and recycling from the park area. Currently we employ 5 ambassadors.
Ambassadors in the news
Pilot program to place Ambassadors in downtown Cedar Rapids KCRG TV9 5/24/19
Cedar Rapids City Council approves Downtown Ambassadors Program KCRG TV9 5/28/19
Willis Dady Employment Program
The aim of the employment program is to assist in ending and preventing homelessness for every individual we serve through direct support in short-term, stable employment leading to longer term employment and stability.
Are you looking for a new source of employees? We provide a customized partnership to make sure your workforce needs are met!
We are currently seeking new employer partners interested in a new pipeline for diverse employees.
Follow the link below for more Information For Employers
We are also seeking volunteers who have experience running a small business to serve as advisers as we explore new start-up opportunities. If you want to use your skills in running a small business to give back to the community, please contact
Carolyn Scherf at firstname.lastname@example.org