IWD Adds New Staff to Better Engage with Iowa Businesses

Iowa Workforce Development is reshaping itself to become more responsive to business needs and make it easier for Iowa employers to get the help they need with their workforce issues.

Two new division administrators and a new deputy director of employment and training joined IWD in June (although Tim Goodwin won’t officially start until September) as part of a restructuring to help the agency focus more effort at becoming a one-stop center for employers’ workforce needs. 

“As we continue to realign to make it easier for our customers and employers to find and access workforce services in Iowa, the hire of three new leaders will enhance our ability to get unemployed Iowans reemployed faster, return more unemployed to the workforce, and create a one-stop customer service center for employers,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Under Governor Reynolds' leadership, we want to make it easier for employers to understand and use the workforce resources that Iowa provides to empower their growth.” 

Outreach to the business community will be a primary task for IWD’s new senior leaders.

Sherri Behrendt, who has been involved in a number of business organizations and served on state boards, has joined IWD as the agency’s new Deputy Director of Employment and Training, overseeing the IowaWORKS centers, Workforce Services, a new Business Engagement Division, and IWD’s new Workforce Training and Education Division.

Behrendt (second from right above) is the former president and CEO of Vantec Inc., a Webster City-based manufacturer of custom-molded products for appliances, heavy equipment, automobiles, and more. Most recently, she has served as managing director of Vantec and vice president of sales for Angstrom Global, a full-service automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturing.

IWD’s new Workforce Training and Education Division will be led by Jared Baldwin, former Program Chair at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Ankeny. Baldwin (far right above), who has significant experience in strategic planning and translating strategic visions into action, designed the college’s Organizational Leadership degree program and grew it from inception to 57 full-time students in three years.

Beginning September 1, the Business Engagement Division will be led by Tim Goodwin, who has broad experience in education in addition to holding Chief Operating Officer positions for the Marshal Group in Washington, Ill., and WW Transport Inc. in West Burlington, Iowa. Goodwin (above left) spent 15 years in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He currently serves as Iowa’s state senator from District 44, a southeast Iowa seat that is being eliminated at the end of the year through redistricting.

Townsend (second from left above, next to Gov. Kim Reynolds) declared her confidence in all three, saying she believes their talents and strong backgrounds in working collaboratively “will complement what we are doing now and help us develop a fully integrated, one-stop shop for employers while we improve the one-stop shop for our customers.”

“I truly believe that Sherri, Jared and Tim will help us get to that next level of serving Iowans.”