New Law Changes Iowa Workforce Development Board Structure

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
Date: April 17, 2017
Contact: Cory Kelly
Telephone: 515-281-9646
Email: cory.kelly@iwd.iowa.gov

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DES MOINES, IA – Governor Terry Branstad signed into law on Thursday House File 572, which changes the membership structure of the Iowa Workforce Development Board.

The legislation brings the board structure into compliance with the requirements outlined by the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. WIOA, which was signed into law in July of 2014, is the first federal legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years.

Under the law, the board’s voting membership will include 17 business members, four labor members, two representatives of community-based organizations, one representative of a Registered Apprenticeship Program, representatives from Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Iowa Department for the Blind and Iowa Department of Education, the Governor, a state senator, a state representative and two local elected officials. The board also includes 13 non-voting members from various stakeholders.

Diverse geographic areas of the state, including urban, rural and suburban, will be represented by the board.

Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development, said the new board structure aligns with WIOA requirements and positions Iowa to meet the workforce challenges facing the state, now and in the future.

“Creating a board structure that includes a majority of business representatives provides Iowa with critical insights and perspectives into future workforce needs,” Director Townsend said. “The bill had overwhelming bipartisan support for moving to a business driven model to address workforce issues that will position Iowa to maximize its ability to meet the Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with postsecondary education and training by 2025.”