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We Believe America Works

America Works connects job seekers and employers to create productive and long lasting relationships. 

Dr. Lee Bowes, CEO

Dr. Lee Bowes is the Chief Executive Officer of America Works of New York, Inc and all of its affiliate America Works and America On Demand companies. Dr. Bowes has held the position of CEO since 1987. She directs all activities of the approximately $15 million annual business. Dr. Bowes was an adjunct Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She lectures on Human Resource Management, Social Policy, and Innovative Management Techniques. She has published a book on Human Resource Management with Harpers. She has published articles in The New Democrat, The Entrepreneurial Economy and Social Policy Research. She has appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC,(morning and nightly news) McNeil Lehrer, PBS, and CNN. She has been frequently on CNBC as an expert on Welfare Reform. Dr. Bowes has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Fortune Magazine and Business Week as well as numerous local media outlets. She is also the recipient of the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Bowes is one of the nation's leading experts on Welfare-To-Work and Prison-To-Work Workforce Development policies.In the 1990's Dr. Bowes along with her husband, America Works Founder Peter Cove, were instrumental in educating both political parties about the merits of implementing a national "Work First" policy. She is a frequent guest and speaker at Associations on welfare to work. Most recently she has appeared at The Public Welfare Association, the Democratic Leadership Council, The Renaissance Weekend, and The Association of Community Development Corporations to name a few.

Dr. Bowes began her career in employment in the mid-1970s. While a graduate student at Columbia University's School of Social Work, she formulated her theory that work should be the central social policy. Rather than an emphasizing income support and social services, policies should be directed toward providing employment.

In the late 1970s Dr. Bowes became the Director of a large CETA program placing 2000 people in public sector jobs. Here she was convinced that there should be a connection to the private job market. Public jobs were costly and didn't provide the skills needed by businesses.

In 1978 Dr. Bowes joined the non-profit Transitional Employment Enterprises. TEE Inc. was established by the Ford Foundation and MDRC to operate the national supported work demonstration. It was here that she designed the private sector model which is run by America Works. Simultaneously she got her Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston University. Her thesis was on unemployment and social policy. She developed her theories on hiring, job links and human resources which are described in her book No One Need Apply: Getting and Keeping the Best Workers.

In 1984, when her husband Peter Cove left to start America Works, Dr. Bowes stayed at TEE and expanded the model to new populations, the elderly, the mentally ill, the mentally retarded and the physically handicapped. In 1987 she decided to join her husband as the CEO of America Works and bring her ideas to a larger population. 

Dr. Bowes is the mother of two children and lives in New York with her husband Peter Cove.


Check out Dr. Bowes' latest articles and appearances 


Let Fireworks Inspire Work

7/3/2013 - The Huffington Post 

by Dr. Lee Bowes


"Lee Bowes of America Works, on the Quest for Jobs"

6/23/2013 - The New York 

as told to Patricia R. Olsen


"Getting a Job: The 4 Keys to Mastering Networking"

12/20/2012 - The Huffington Post 

by Dr. Lee Bowes


Welfare: Work First Still Works Best

8/19/2012 - The New York Post

by Dr. Lee Bowes & Lawrence Mone



  • I remember when I was a member of America Works, the reps really helped me through rough times and helped me find employment, really nice people. 

    Former Client

  • At two of our most precious vending locations, Citi Field, Home to the New York Mets, and Yankee Stadium, year after year America Works handles all of our staffing needs.

  • America Works was one of the leading organizations that worked on the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, moving national welfare programs from subsistence to back to work programs.

    Newt Gingrich
    U.S. Congress, Speaker of the House
  • America Works played a huge role in keeping my job, without the constant follow up, I may have left. 

    Former Client

  • Our partnership with America Works has also reduced staff turnover.

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
  • There was some controversy about the idea that it was for profit, I thought it was a very good idea. It seems probably to be the key ingredient that would make it more accountable.

    Rudy Giuliani
    New York City Mayor
  • I was in doubt that America Works was truly going to be able to help me, but I am happy they proved me wrong. Now I know that if I were to ever lose my position I will be able to use my skills to get back on my feet. 

    Former Client

  • America Works is the number one vendor for employment needs based on the quality of their screening process.

    Century 21 Department Stores
  • America Works provides excellent employment placement and retention services to our veterans.

    Danny K. Davis
    U.S. Congress, Illinois

  • I am extremely grateful to the America Works staff for assisting me with interview preparation, helping me with my communication skills, and their continued support throughout my employment.

    Former Client
  • America Works has an impressive track record of success in placing individuals into entry level positions with on the job training that gives them a grounding in their chosen career field.

    Allied Barton
  • Oakland has a very high number of residents returning from prison weekly and it is essential that we get them into a productive lifestyle quickly upon return. America Works has met that challenge.

    NancyJ. Nadel
    Oakland City Council Member

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