For Students

Students, here's how Community Promise works for you. We're all about making connections. Marion and our greater region provides an exceptional environment to meet great people and explore great opportunities. Let us help you take that next step after an eye opening job shadow. Maybe you don't know what careers fit your interests and need resources to uncover career interests. Maybe you completed a great project through Iowa BIG and want to uncover a long term home to apply the skills you developed. This website is filled with tools to connect your passion to a career pathway.

We're ready to help you learn and pursue a multitude of career experience and exposure opportunities. There's no start date. There's not even a beginning or end. Your career pathway is unique to you, here's how you might discover it.


Career readiness begins in our middle schools with a planned approach to exposing students to unique industry and careers that exist in our community. Exposure targets both students and parents alike. The following activities will support initial exposure and connections to community based career opportunities:

  • Guest speakers
  • Expansion of Career Explorer Clubs
  • Career Fairs / STEM Institute
  • Parent/Student Explorations
  • Regular material distributed to students and parents on current job openings in the community and future opportunities made available through our Job Profile Database


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As students enter high school, a more intentional connection is made with local careers. Experiences will include but not be limited to:

  • Field trips
  • Job Shadows
  • Guest speakers
  • Future Workforce Events that educate parents and students around the realities of our new economy (1:2:7)
  • Introduce Community Promise Job Profiles

Maybe you already completed an internship and can picture your future in that business. Ready to sit down with that business and your school counseling staff to create a plan that hopefully leads to a real job?  Tell us you're ready! We might know how to make that happen. 

These next three steps provide an outline on how we move forward.


During your sophomore and junior year, we will provide authentic opportunities for students who roll up their sleeves and actively pursue careers here at home. 

Some students may choose to pursue a career at an accelerated rate. The foundation of Community Promise is to provide a partnership and commitment to our students who choose to establish their professional roots here. Through our network of Promise Partners, Marion Economic Development Corporation will actively promote Community Promise Job Profiles to students who are considering career commitment.

Students will be provided the opportunity to apply, interview, and be selected to train for and potentially fill a Community Promise Job Profile upon graduation. If a student is paired with a job, school administrators will collaboratively develop an academic plan with the student and business partner that best aligns with the job profile. Each school district will develop a custom plan within their course offerings to support the attainment of professional competencies identified as critical to the success of the individual in the career they are pursuing.

Are you ready for that step? Tell us!

Community Investment

During your senior year, some employers may choose to advance students into formal apprenticeship programs or support student enrollment into unique career academies and certification programs delivered by a local university or community college. As additional financial resources are required to complete this training, students are provided the opportunity to enter into a Pursuit Contract with their business. This contract solidifies the intent of both the student and business to a long term employment relationship.

When students get this far a financial plan outlining necessary training costs will be collaboratively developed by the school district, higher education partner and community promise partner (the business). If both the business partner and student agree to invest financially towards completion of the plan, additional financial resources will be made available through the form of a Pursuit Grant (read more in next step).

Community Promise

With a Pursuit Contract in place (previous section), business partners agree to fund a portion of the final certifications or courses needs for an employee to be fully trained for a specific role in their company. This is when our community promise is the opportunity for the community to invest in YOU.

Pursuit Grants are available to support the hand-off from our schools to our Community Promise Partners who have already invested in a student over the previous two years through exposure, experience, and initial pursuit. Students are be given the first chance to interview for the available position with their Promise Partner.

Pursuit Grants are the final gap closer. Think of it as the third leg of the stool. It's career training funded by yourself, your business partner and your community. Pursuit Grants provide final investments in people that lead them towards being successful citizens in our Marion community. 

Are you at this stage and interested in applying for a Pursuit Grant? Let us know!