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America Works lifts people

out of poverty using its unique brand of intensive, personalized employment services.

Called "a company with a conscience", America Works was founded in 1984 by social activist and entrepreneur, Peter Cove, who wanted to put his ideals about poverty and the American dream into practice.

Joined by Dr. Lee Bowes as the CEO, America Works has helped nearly 2,000,000 individuals increase their self-sufficiency through gainful employment, including military veterans, welfare and SNAP recipients, young adults, the criminal justice involved, homeless, non-custodial parents, persons receiving disability, among others. America Works uses a blended model that includes work readiness training, vocational training, career placement, career advancement, and employment retention services.

America Works is a 100% Women-Owned Business. Our mission is to equip each individual who comes to our offices with the right tools so that they are able to provide for themselves and their loved ones. We believe the most effective approach in helping people out of poverty is by assisting them in finding meaningful employment. Our proven methods, services and experienced staff offer the right combination for success.

Peter Cove founded America Works as an experiment to prove his philosophy about helping those in poverty. The experiment was delivering services with an emphasis on work and partnering with the public sector to fill existing needs.
Entrepreneur of the Year
The Entrepreneur of the Year Institute awarded Peter Cove its distinguished Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of The Year award for his achievements with America Works.
Making Welfare- to-Work Fly
The Manhattan Institute publishes an Issue Brief authored by Peter Cove demonstrating that performance based contracts in social services provide better results for constituents and more value for municipalities.
United States House Committee on Ways & Means
Peter Cove was invited to speak on the topic Next Steps for Welfare Reform: Ideas to Improve TANF to Help More Families Find Work and Escape Poverty in front of the United States House Committee on Ways and Means value for municipalities.
Vice President Dan Quayle Visits America Works
The Vice President praised America Works as a "fantastic example" of market-oriented solutions to the problems of unemployment and poverty.
President Bill Clinton partners with America Works
Peter Cove and Dr. Lee Bowes are brought in as experts to help craft Welfare Reform in 1996 with President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Stevies Awards for Women in Business
Dr. Lee Bowes is awarded the Stevie’s Award for Lifetime Achievement for her successes at America Works.


Jobseekers Placed
The America Works Network has helped over 700,000 individuals return to the workforce.
Employers Served
The America Works Network has partnered with over 2,000 employers to create long lasting jobs.
Cities Serving
The America Works Network has offices from coast to coast.
Retention Rate
After 6 months, over 60% of clients placed by the America Works Network are still working.


Peter Cove, Founder


Peter Cove, a social activist and businessmen, is one of the nation’s leading advocates for private solutions to workforce development and alleviating poverty.

As the founder of America Works in 1984, Peter Cove has worked to link private-sector investment and employment with welfare reform. Peter Cove has also devoted his energy to prisoner reentry initiatives, advocating tirelessly for second chance legislation on a national level, to inform policy makers that the work first model of services is the answer for successful reintegration of ex-offenders into communities.

Peter Cove has a book published, Poor No More: Rethinking Dependency and the War on Poverty, as well as numerous articles in the New York Post, Real Clear Policy, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

Dr. Lee Bowes, CEO


Dr. Lee Bowes is one of the leading experts on Welfare to Work and Prison to Work Workforce Development policies. In the 1990’s, Dr. Lee Bowes and her husband, 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 that deal with welfare to work policies. She has been a speaker at The Public Welfare Association, the Democratic Leadership Council, The Renaissance Weekend, and the Association of Community Development Corporations.

Dr. Lee Bowes has held the position of CEO since 1987. 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. Dr. Lee Bowes has a book published, No One Need Apply: Getting and Keeping the Best Workers, as well as numerous articles in the New York Post, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere.