At SPPG we make things happen. It’s what we do.

Organizations and groups of all kinds – private, public, nonprofit – are always changing and dealing with public policy and organizational challenges. SPPG is there to help. We advise, we manage projects, we do the research, and much more. We solve problems. We make connections. It’s what we do.

We’ve been around a while – since 1984 – and are known to look at an issue from different angles to find the best answers to any challenge.  



21CCLC Monitoring and Support Manager Opening

Do you have a passion for youth and a vision for what our most at-risk youth need to be successful? We are looking for someone with a commitment to doing what’s right for kids through policy and grant management. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) Monitoring and Support Manager is a unique opportunity to work closely with the Iowa Department of Education and SPPG+Essman Research, a private consulting company working statewide on issues of importance to Iowans. The position will gain competency in monitoring and support of 21ST Century Community Learning Centers grantees and will also serve as a team member at SPPG+Essman Research on policy initiatives related to afterschool and summer programming and, potentially, other projects as needed. 

This position will report to the SPPG+Essman Research Managing Partner, but will work very closely with the Iowa Department of Education 21CCLC Consultant to ensure Iowa’s most at-risk youth are receiving the services they need before school, after school, and over the summer to be successful. It is expected that half of the position’s time will be committed to shadowing the 21CCLC consultant in monitoring, grant compliance, and general grantee support. The remaining time will be spent supporting efforts to raise the profile of afterschool programming and improve the quality of afterschool programming across the state. Other duties may entail supporting other projects at the discretion of the SPPG+Essman Research Managing Partner and Senior Program Managers. 

The Iowa 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program – federally funded at around $7M in Iowa each year – supports high-need youth statewide through afterschool and summer programming in their community. The program has three main components: academic support, academic enrichment, and family engagement. The program operates at 102 sites across the state of Iowa by schools and nonprofit organizations and is annually put out for competition based on federal appropriation. Find out more about this amazing program at

SPPG+Essman Research is a full service, mission-driven consulting company based in West Des Moines, Iowa. We work with public, private, and nonprofit clients to support systems change that leads to better outcomes for Iowans. SPPG+Essman Research has partnered with the Iowa Department of Education for nearly two decades to support positive outcomes for youth through afterschool and summer programming. Find out more about SPPG+Essman Research at

Required Qualifications:

  • Documented advocacy and/or passion for kids
  • Understanding and/or experience in afterschool and summer programming
  • Associate’s Degree or higher
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Classroom teaching and/or administration experience

Please submit your resume and a cover letter to Michelle Rich at SPPG+Essman Research at Please direct all inquiries related to this job opportunity to Michelle.


Tom Slater

We join Tom Slater’s family in grieving his death on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Tom’s love of life and his fellow humans was embodied in State Public Policy Group, the company he founded in 1984. Tom was an inspiration to many, concocted dozens of innovative solutions to state, community, and issue interests and worked with organizations to implement and manage their own change. You can just hear him say that, I’m sure!...

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Essman Research

Essman Research
A Subdivision of SPPG

Essman Research is a full-service marketing research company located in West Des Moines, Iowa. Since 1981, Essman Research has been providing clients with user-friendly and useful research results. Essman Research asks the right questions, in the right way to discover insights into what people think, need and want. The right information will help you make important business decisions.

To learn more about Essman Research, click here.