The city of Decorah has been asked to serve as a "host" for the Experience Works program for the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center.

Chris Kelly of Decorah told the Decorah City Council last week the Peace and Justice Center has applied for 501 (c) (3) non-profit status, but has not yet been approved. So in order to have a worker through the Experience Works program, the city would need to serve as the "host agency" until the center receives non-profit status.

Experience Works was authorized under Older America's Act to assist people age 55 and older to overcome poverty, Jenny Little of Experience Works, told the Council. The program helps low-income seniors get the training they need to find good jobs in their local communities.

The program places the workers in a community services position for a non-profit organization for 20 hours a week.

"We pay them while they learn new skills and update old ones," Little said.

Participants can be in the program for up to four years, and they are provided with resume writing, job searches, classes and whatever else they need to become employed again, she explained.

"The point is to get them to unsubsidized work," Little said.

The city's role would be limited to signing paperwork, and the training will take place at the Peace and Justice Center, Little said.

Mayor Don Arendt asked how long it would take the Peace and Justice Center to obtain non-profit status, and Kelly said she didn't know. The application was submitted in October, she said.



Council member Carolyn Corbin asked where Experienced Works has workers. Little said she's had workers at the Decorah Public Library, Goodwill, the Winneshiek County Recycling Center and the Vesterheim Gift Store.



Since the Peace and Justice Center request was made during the Council's public comment segment, it will be put on a future Council agenda for consideration.