Branstad, Reynolds highlight expanded use, hours of Workforce access points
November 14, 2011
New hours and Saturday access dramatically expands options for Iowa’s unemployedIowa Workforce Department (IWD) Director Teresa Wahlert joined Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at the administration’s weekly press briefing today. The governor presented an update on the workforce virtual access deployment across Iowa and its continued success. “Iowa Workforce Development has succeeded in developing a delivery system that serves Iowans locally and more efficiently while still providing professional workforce staff connections through the use of technology,” said Branstad. Earlier this year, the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices praised Iowa’s efforts as a national model saying, “the new system will offer greater availability to the public through evening and weekend hours—a benefit that is currently not available.” Iowa Workforce Development’s new approach has dramatically increased access for communities across the state. In communities like Boone, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Iowa Falls, Perry and Washington, hours of access have increased from less than 20 hours to 64 hours a week, or an increase of more than 300%. Access points are now available in 370 locations and 1,102 workstations. Saturday usage, a service that was previously unavailable, encompasses over 25% of the services provided during the extended hours. “For the first time in Iowa’s history, workforce services are available in every county,” said Reynolds. “Iowans now have the option of seeking local services versus traveling to one of 55 offices that did not cover the entire state.” IWD will continue to enhance technology based services throughout the new system for the benefit of all clients. Individuals can connect with a workforce professional by dialing 866-239-0843 or by live chat at an access point. The access is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Staff members will continue to be available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday within the regional centers and satellite offices. Iowa Workforce Development and its partners provide comprehensive workforce services within the 16 integrated IowaWORKS offices. 24/7 access to employment services, unemployment filings, job postings and more is available at www.iowaworkforce.org.