Members of the state’s largest employee union presented a petition today with over 4,000 signatures asking that the state keep open 37 Workforce Development offices that have been targeted to close. The president of the American Federation of County, State, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union Council 61, Danny Homan, spoke about the petition in front of the Workforce Development office in Des Moines.

Homan says all he hears from Republicans in the House and the Governor’s office is the state has to create jobs, and he asks how they are going to create jobs by closing the I-W-D offices. “It just doesn’t make sense,” Homan said. Lawmakers set aside money to keep the offices open, but Homan says that doesn’t guarantee the governor won’t go ahead with the plan to shut them down.

Homan says the bill in the Senate would require the offices to stay open, but he says the governor could use his line-item veto on the bill and he says “I’ll guess we’ll find out whether or not this governor is really a governor that wants to create jobs, or if this governor is a governor that wants to eliminate jobs in this state,” Homan says.

Homan says the I-W-D offices are an important place for people to go to get help in finding another job. Homan says the plan for the services to help people get a job is to “dump it on libraries,” be he says the libraries tell him they don’t have the staff or services to do this. Homan says some people will have to drive a long way to get help finding a new job if the offices close.