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Iowa attempts to combat workforce shortages, make it harder for folks to collect unemployment benefits

This news story was published on October 21, 2021.
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Iowa workers

DES MOINES – Two new programs to help combat Iowa’s workforce shortage were announced this week – a new grant program to promote workforce innovation in the manufacturing sector and a new reemployment case management system to refocus Iowa’s unemployment system on rapid reemployment.

Iowa will be investing a total of $30 million in grant opportunities, using federal funds through the American Rescues Plan Act (ARPA), to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses to improve workforce innovation through retention, recruitment of new employees, and leveraging technology solutions to address vacancies and increase workforce capacity. Advanced manufacturing is Iowa’s largest industry, accounting for nearly 18% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.

The first grant opportunity will supplement the existing Manufacturing 4.0 program for small manufacturers, employing up to 75 employees, with $5 million. The second grant opportunity will invest $25 million to make similar grant opportunities available to mid-size firms employing 76 – 250 employees.

Separately, Iowa Workforce Development will soon be launching a new Reemployment Case Management system to make sure Iowans can get back to work as quickly as possible.

Currently, unemployment recipients do not have to engage with IWD’s re-employment process until week five. Now, IWD will provide one-on-one career coaching at week one and will audit the recipient’s work-search requirements on a weekly basis for those receiving unemployment benefits. With some narrow exceptions, weekly work-search requirements will also double from two to four and the number of activities that qualify as a work search will be reduced from 27 to 12.

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8 Responses to Iowa attempts to combat workforce shortages, make it harder for folks to collect unemployment benefits

  1. Daydream Believer Reply Report comment

    October 23, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    I never understood those who have passions for a career.

    I’m a sophomore in college studying Computer Science, I’m only doing this because the moment is good, I’m good at math and the hours are very reasonable unlike other high paying fields.

    I don’t love any subject, my dream isn’t to “help people”, I couldn’t care less about others. I would take a job that involved hurting others if it paid the best with the most reasonable hours.

  2. I. Ron Fist Reply Report comment

    October 23, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    About time. The system is to good to deadbeats and illegals. They should get benefits for six months max. That’s plenty of time to get your sh*t together

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 22, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Why should I pay for your childcare, no one paid for mine. We struggled week to week to support a family of five, if you can’t support a family of five, three children and two adults why the f–k would you talk about having more children ? It is not up to taxpayers to support your children if you can’t provide for your children then maybe you shouldn’t have them!!

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 22, 2021 at 3:18 am

    now hiring signs all over town, i say the ones not applying are the ones that dont want to work. i had two jobs for 50 yrs and never had a problem with finding one. $10 a hr is much better then $) bucks a hr.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 21, 2021 at 5:37 pm


    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      October 21, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      Get off your butt and take advantage of this program and get a job!

      • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

        October 22, 2021 at 12:37 am

        I’d say, what for. Those bum-paying jobs out there are many times not worth it. Why slave for some corporate master. Stay home, pet your kitty, hug your grandma, skip that bum job till they make it worth it to show up. Or, better yet, start your own business and compete.

      • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

        October 22, 2021 at 9:17 am

        People are quitting all over. Not just one place, or 10 places, or 100 places. Employers demand more and more and worker needs not considered. It’s a one-way street. Why bother living that way? So you can get your burger faster and cheaper? Nah.