September 2019 Newsletter

Categories: News

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You’re Invited

Join us for an Open House and Meet & Greet with the Proteus team on Tuesday, September 10, at our Des Moines office located at 1221 Center Street, Suite 16.

Team members from Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska and board members will be in attendance. Learn more about the work we do to support migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Hope to see you there!

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Abagail Wells

Abagail Wells is a Case Manager in Iowa.

Making the Transition

NFJP provides necessary tools


Jesse James wanted to make a positive change in his life. Recently released from a corrections center and residing in a transitional living house, Jesse wanted to learn more about Proteus after he saw our booth at a career fair. Having worked on a beef farm prior to his time at the facility, he was excited to hear the services provided to him though the National Farmworker Jobs Program. Employed on the farm, Jesse learned to appreciate the honest work and money he earned, although his wages were meek at $9.00 an hour.

Getting into a situation where he could work and earn a decent wage, as well as be eligible for benefits, was Jesse’s goal – but getting there was intimidating. Knowing his past would be a point of discussion as well as uncertainty about his skills, Jesse was pleased to learn Proteus could provide help in these areas.

Jesse James

Having worked on a beef farm, Jesse was excited to hear the services provided to him though the National Farmworker Jobs Program.

Upon acceptance into the NFJP, his case manager was quick to provide aid in how to write a resume, search for jobs and prepare for an interview. Advice on how to dress and how to best present himself with confidence and sincerity went a long way in Jesse getting hired at Swift Pork in Ottumwa, Iowa.

With his employment, Jesse enjoys the work he does as well as the pay and benefits he receives. Earning $16.80 an hour is much more than he earned previously as a farmworker and allows Jesse to live a life of self sufficiency.

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New Construction Careers for Brothers

Job Corps is available for Proteus clients


Dana Cowsert

Dana Cowsert is a Case Manager in Indiana.

Job Corps is yet another amazing opportunity available for Proteus clients. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is for individuals ages 16-24. There are 125 centers nationwide providing hands-on career training for high demand careers and the best part is tuition is free! Housing, meals, basic medical care, uniforms and tools are also provided to students who enroll in the program.

Proteus case manager Dana Cowsert learned about Job Corps from admission counselor Soledad Rubio. The program is a good fit for students who need to earn their high school diploma or learn best through hands-on experience. Training is conducted at community colleges, workplaces and professional development networking opportunities. Graduates enter the workforce, complete a apprenticeship, go on to higher education or join the military.

JobcorpsindexKnowing the opportunities Job Corps had to offer, Proteus case manager Dana Cowsert shared the information with two Proteus clients. The brothers were enrolled in the construction program at the Logansport High School Career Center and want to own their own construction company. Following high school graduation, the brothers started the self-paced construction trades program. Once their training is complete, they’ll work with a career counselor to find employment in construction.

Job Corps is an amazing program providing services for many. Find out if there is a Job Corps program in your area.

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Transfer to New School Brings Success

Degree brings new opportunities


Marisol Saldana Leza is a Bilingual Case Manager in Iowa.

Trevor came to Proteus in August 2017, when he met with a case manager. He learned his tuition was more than he could cover and he became nervous about his future. With assistance from Proteus, he transferred to school in Nevada, Missouri.

In April 2018, Trevor’s case was reassigned to Marisol, a new Proteus case manager in the region. Through the National Farmworker Jobs Program, Proteus was able to help Trevor by paying a portion of his tuition and providing funds to purchase tools and work boots for his position. Trevor earned his welding certificate and was able to exit the program after three months with assistance from Marisol who helped him with applications and sending him job leads.

Trevor was hired for a position with Shivvers Manufacturing in Corydon, Iowa, where he currently resides and has family in the community. Trevor is in high spirits during phone calls with Marisol and enjoys his position at Shivvers. He’s now making over $15.00 an hour, more than the American median salary, and is able to support himself and his family.

Now that Trevor has successfully exited NFJP, he has referred a potential client to Marisol in hopes they can be as successful.

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Summer Health Programs

Providing services across Iowa


Health clinics sponsored by Proteus assist many during the summer months, at times when it’s most convenient for farmworkers to attend.

During the summer, Proteus health programs provide great benefits to migrant farmworkers. The clinics, held when the workers can attend, provide much-needed services.

A few highlights include:

  • During the summer, a team of temporary health aides provides care at mobile clinics. From early morning to evening clinics at camp locations, staff meet the healthcare needs of farmworkers and their families.
  • The Des Moines healthcare team attended 22 clinics across Iowa and saw 227 patients during July.
  • A healthy food initiative was added to Des Moines clinics and 500 lbs. of fresh food provided by the Iowa Food Bank was distributed. Because clinics are held frequently, food doesn’t need refrigeration. Fifty patients received corn, peppers, onions, apples, pears, grapes and sweet potatoes.

Knowing there are organizations like Proteus provides a sense of security to these individuals. Proteus’ commitment and providing premier care ensures individuals can focus on the work they’re hired to do.

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