DES MOINES, Iowa — One couple in Iowa is focused on fixing two glaring problems in the state: the reincarceration rate and the labor shortage.
Joseph and Karin Johnson are the two behind Change Course, a personal development and career course for the underserved in the state. WHO 13 reported on the new course back in August. Their first class starts on November 7 and there are still spots that need filled.
“We have 13 solid right now and more people that we are still communicating with. You know there is a process they have to go through, we would like to have 25 to 30 in our first class,” said Karin, who is the program director at Change Course.
Karin said they hope to get up to 50 per course in their next round of classes. Each course is 6 months long and they start off with personal development and lead into connecting those with a job or an employer.
Joseph was incarcerated for six months, which is where he got the idea to develop this course for ex-inmates or those who are financially struggling in life in general.
“Always in my mind I thought we need to have a training center for men coming out of prison that don’t have the same privilege,” said Joseph. “And we need to come around and say you know what we are going to teach you some things, we are going to give you the opportunity and we are going to give you the confidence to know that you can contribute, and you don’t have to go back.”
Karin and Joseph are both in their 60’s and are spending retirement wanting to help people discover their passions and have them contribute to their community.
You can sign up for the course on Change Course’s website.