Hopeful young Iowans converge on Des Moines today (Friday) with their careers in mind. Amanda Steward with the Greater Des Moines Partnership says the chamber’s Young Professionals Connection developed its own “reality show” type program, to tout the opportunities available in central Iowa. It’s titled “Four Hire,” and features four corporations offering a big prize — real jobs, for the winners.

People across the state were asked to apply and send in audition tapes — then interviews were done and 12 candidates chosen from those to come to a “challenge” on February 10. Four were eliminated and eight were asked to come back for a second challenge. The four corporations taking part in the “Four Hire” Challenge are Wells Fargo, Principal Financial Group, the Des Moines Register, and Allied Insurance. What will that challenge be? Nobody knows yet.

The eight candidates will come to Des Moines’ new Central Library and there they’ll be told the day’s challenge at 8:30. They’ll hit the street and have six hours to complete their individual challenges, then between 3:30 and 5:30 will make presentations about their tasks to a panel made up of representatives from the four companies. Based on their performance, four of them will be hired by those companies.

Steward says it’s a great way to talk about the opportunities in Iowa, and try to retain the talent we have by pointing out all the job opportunities and quality of life here. As for the “reality show” resemblance, a local cable-TV company will tape their adventures for broadcast later.