The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

July 18, 2013

Staff cuts hit Iowa workforce agency

DES MOINES (AP) — The state is laying off staffers at the Iowa Workforce Development agency, which provides services to unemployed residents, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce said that 30 staffers, both union-represented and non-union workers, will lose their jobs due to a reduction in federal funding.

Koonce said the layoffs were largely to administrative staff and that people seeking support should not notice any difference in services.

In an email sent to agency workers this week, Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert said that 85 percent of the agency’s funding comes from the federal government.

She said cuts led to a $7 million budget shortfall and that even after finding efficiencies, the layoffs were necessary.

But Danny Homan — president of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — said the state has a budget surplus and should be able to afford the workers.

He says the cuts will limit aid for unemployed state residents seeking jobs.

“This state has a billion dollar surplus. They’ve known about sequestration since it was passed,” Homan said. “If this governor wanted to provide real services to laid-off citizens in this state, they could have done something during the legislative session.”

Koonce said the governor’s office did not seek additional funding for the agency during the budget deliberations with the state legislature in the spring.

She said lawmakers were informed of the potential for layoffs.

The Iowa Workforce Development agency currently has about 670 staffers, said Koonce. The agency provides job training and placement services to the unemployed.

Gov. Terry Branstad’s spokesman Tim Albrecht said Branstad remains focused on helping Iowans find jobs.

“Gov. Branstad’s top priority remains ensuring every Iowan seeking employment finds a job and establishes a career, and despite these federal budget cuts, our robust Workforce Development department will continue in its successful efforts in bringing down Iowa’s unemployment rate,” Albrecht said in an email.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Hot air balloon brushes power line at Iowa event INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — A hot air balloon brushed a power line and caused an outage at the National Balloon Classic near Indianola. An event official, Bill Clemons, says the balloon was on the ground Tuesday night when it touched the wire and then dra

    July 30, 2014

  • Wilson Island State Recreation Area set to reopen COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire r

    July 30, 2014

  • Iowa parents speak out against school changes DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Students at Des Moines middle schools no longer have the option to take advanced English and science classes. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/WMKKcT ) Tuesday that some parents are concerned that top performer

    July 30, 2014

  • Iowa's first startup accelerator set to begin CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids is joining the expanding pool of U.S. cities that want to kick-start fledgling businesses. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1nSV5z7 ) that the Iowa Startup Accelerator begins Monday and is the fi

    July 30, 2014

  • Cedar Rapids murder case now in judge's hands CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Linn County judge is considering the fate of a 20-year-old man accused of killing a former women's basketball standout from Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids television station KGAN says (http://bit.ly/1oKi8eC ) closing arguments

    July 30, 2014

  • Inspector had cited lauded Iowa nursing home WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa nursing home was cited for unsanitary conditions in its kitchen seven weeks before it was lauded by the governor's office as among the best such facilities in the state, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/U

    July 29, 2014

  • Dozens of animals found inside two Fort Dodge homes FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Fort Dodge authorities have found a total of 50 to 60 animals inside two homes that stank of urine and feces. Officers who responded to a nearby residence on Saturday were told about the animals. Officers then found eight dogs

    July 29, 2014

  • US Treasury secretary to visit Davenport area DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will visit the Davenport area to tour a manufacturing plant. Lew is scheduled to travel to Iowa on Tuesday. He'll tour Alcoa's Davenport Works facility, which produces aluminum products, includ

    July 29, 2014

  • Authorities: Fire destroys railroad bridge in Iowa DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a fire has completely destroyed a railroad bridge in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says multiple departments responded to the Monday fire near the Massey Station. Cr

    July 29, 2014

  • Golf rounds donated for Linn County veterans CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Corporate sponsors and the city of Cedar Rapids have donated 675 rounds of golf for active duty and honorably discharged veterans in Linn County. Patriot Golf Week begins on Aug. 25 and ends on Labor Day. The week is set up

    July 29, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National