One Door—Many Paths: a WIOA partners’ conference welcomes 500 participants to Central Iowa in groundbreaking initiative

For Immediate Release
Date: June 27, 2016
Contact: Courtney Greene
Office: 515-281-9646
Cell: 515-423-3210


One Door—Many Paths: a WIOA partners’ conference welcomes 500 participants to Central Iowa in groundbreaking initiative


Altoona, IA — In an unprecedented display of collaboration and teamwork, a federal piece of legislation—the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—provided the backdrop and framework for more than 500 participants at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona. The One Door—Many Paths conference was held to discuss ways to streamline workforce services for Iowans.

This effort brought real people with a heart to serve together to find solutions in reducing Iowa’s skills gap and help Iowans who unemployed, underemployed and those with significant barriers to employment.

Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Department for the Blind along with the Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections, Department on Aging, and Economic Development Authority brought in key stakeholders and nationally recognized speakers in a cross-agency effort to streamline workforce services in Iowa. Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and the Iowa chapter of the International Association of Workforce Professionals are also contributing partners.

In the past, each state agency held a separate annual conference, focusing on workforce needs, specific to their respective constituents and stakeholders. This year, representatives from each agency decided it was in Iowans’ best interest to collaborate and work together to develop one robust workforce conference.

Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend praised the ongoing collaboration saying, “These partnerships allow agencies to combine expertise and resources to address these issues in a holistic and meaningful way that provides the best we have to offer to Iowans who need help. And I’m pleased that hundreds of Iowans attended a job fair featuring more than 60 Iowa employers looking for talent to fill their employment needs.”

WIOA is being implemented to continue building Iowa’s talent pipeline and aligning workforce services. This will ensure Iowa has a workforce ready to fill the high-quality, well-paying jobs and careers of today and tomorrow. WIOA legislation encourages seamless integration of government, public and private sector organizations to help job seekers receive the appropriate tools and resources at the right time.