Governor Culver has appointed a 16-year veteran of state government to lead the Iowa Workforce Development Agency.
The department’s former director was removed in the spring of 2006 amid revelations that a central Iowa job training agency which was to be monitored by his agency had paid lavish salaries to top administrators.
In August, Elisabeth Buck will take the top job in Iowa Workforce Development, taking over from an interim director who’s been leading the agency for more than a year. "I’m looking forward to the challenges," Buck says.
Several figures involved in the so-called CIETC scandal have been indicted and federal officials may try to force the state to repay some of the money that was misspent by managers at the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium.
"Taxpayers deserve a fair and open government," Buck says. "I’m anxious to work with the (U.S.) Department of Labor to get this case settled and get it behind us and start to working on a fair, reasonable and prompt settlement for this."
Buck says another of her pressing concerns is figuring out how to address the looming worker shortage Iowa faces within the decade. "In about four or five years, we’re looking at about 100,000 fewer employees than we need in the state," Buck says.
Buck served as executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party before working as a top aide to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller for eight years. She left the Iowa Department of Justice to work as former Governor Tom Vilsack’s deputy chief of staff and she has served in that role for current Governor Chet Culver, too.
Buck was the behind-the-scenes coordinator of the National Governors Association meeting in Des Moines in the summer of 2005 and she organized the search for a design for the state quarter.