The state agency that helps Iowans find jobs may be responding to mass layoffs of state government workers. Iowa Workforce Development Deputy Director Joe Walsh says a recent 10% cut in state spending raises the possibility of layoffs and if they do occur, he says Rapid Response Teams will be deployed.
“They will go out to sites where there’s a mass layoff and offer services to dislocated workers on the spot there,” Walsh said. Iowa Workforce Development also has to cut state spending by 10% but Walsh says the effect on the department will not be as bad as it will be for other state agencies.
He says roughly 80% of his agency’s funding comes from the federal government. “So, when we’re talking about a cut for Iowa Workforce Development, it’s a much smaller cut than many other state agencies are feeling because a much smaller percentage of our budget is actually state budget,” Walsh said.
Governor Culver has said he will consider asking the legislature to restore the 10% cut to Workforce Development, basic health care serves and public safety. Iowa has lost nearly 50,000 jobs in the past year. State agencies are required to submit their recommendations to cut costs by Tuesday.