IWD Launching Business Engagement Division, Reaching Out to Build Business Relationships

posted on 10/3/22


IWD Launching Business Engagement Division, Reaching Out to Build Business Relationships

New Structure Will Focus on Helping Employers Find the Workforce Tools They Need

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Workforce Development today is launching its new Business Engagement Division, reorganizing employees around the state to create a more efficient team for assessing and resolving the workforce challenges of Iowa employers.

The launch will be accompanied by an employer outreach blitz across the state. Over the next 100 days, IWD leadership and members of the new division will deploy across Iowa to share information about available resources and provide specific points of contact for assisting employers with any workforce need.

The Division, which will be led by Division Administrator Tim Goodwin and Deputy Division Administrator Kathy Anderson, was created at the direction of Governor Kim Reynolds, who challenged IWD to design and implement a “one-stop shop” for employers – an easy-to-access system that will meet employer needs regardless of where they are in the cycle of their business lives.

“We want to spend the next few months connecting with as many Iowa employers as possible so we can make certain that the state is doing everything it can to address their workforce needs and also provide a slate of real solutions,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowa has many workforce tools to help with different challenges employers face. It can be difficult for businesses to navigate the available resources in the state, so we have created a one-stop shop to provide concierge service to them, regardless of where the programs are housed.”

A key first step involves building long-term relationships. Toward that end, IWD wants to meet with Iowa’s employers and will be reaching out to schedule in-person visits with them to evaluate any ongoing workforce needs. (Employers also can sign up for a visit by clicking here.) IWD experts also will follow up to provide any identified assistance during those conversations. Subject areas include:

  • Exploring and building workforce (available assistance with worker training and work-based learning)
  • Surviving a slowdown (rapid response team, voluntary shared work program)
  • Developing, expanding, and retaining workforce (help finding more workers, expanding the pool through targeted programs and retention programs)

“We’re transforming Iowa Workforce Development into a one-stop shop where employers can go to find assistance with any workforce issue at any point in the business cycle,” said Sherri Behrendt, IWD’s new Deputy Director of Employment and Training, including Business Engagement. “Over the next few weeks and months, we’re going to be actively reaching out to businesses across the state to be sure Iowa employers understand that we’re ready, willing, and more than able to help.”

To find more information on the workforce services available to Iowa employers, visit this link. You can contact Business Engagement at iaworks@iwd.iowa.gov, 1-833-469-2967, or by clicking the link above.

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