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Employers’ Council of Iowa Handbook

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Employers’ Council of Iowa History

The Employers’ Council concept grew from a two-fold need in the early 1970’s to continue to improve the delivery of Employment Security services and to strengthen the employment and training image.

Since employer’s taxes through the Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) pays the administrative costs of the United States Employment Service system, employers were encouraged to address these needs. Leadership from the business community and the U.S. Department of Labor, drawing on research in the area of improved relationships, began piloting model programs in key cities. 

By the mid-70's the concept had taken root as a viable way improve services to both job seekers and employers.

Mission Statement
Employers’ Council of Iowa Board of Directors

  • Initiate and ensure continuing dialogue with Iowa Workforce Development and other appropriate agencies.
  • Actively represent employer’s interests in regulatory or legislative matters and those issues which affect the quality and quantity of services provided by Iowa Workforce Development.
  • Serve as a liaison among the local and state Employers’ Councils through coordination of employer efforts and the exchange of information.
  • Seek solutions to employment and/or training related issues through partnership with Iowa Workforce Development.

State Board’s Role and Responsibilities

The State Board of Directors is comprised of four officers (Executive Committee) and Directors representing the IWD regions with active local ECIs. The State Board meets on a quarterly basis with IWD administrative and field staff.

Role of the State Board members:

  • Represent local Employers’ Council members within their respective regions at state meetings.
  • Serve as a resource person in the region by assisting Employers’ Council education and promotion.
  • Maintain communication with IWD and local Workforce Centers in the area to lend support and exchange information and ideas to improve services.
  • Maintain a high level of communication with local ECI Chairs and keep them informed about state and national issues relating to employers and IWD.

How IWD Supports Local Committees

Local coordinators are assigned to work with local Councils in planning and organizing meetings and seminars. The local coordinators also act as liaisons to the various support services available at IWD. This support is key to the success of local Councils.

Printing and mailing services are available through IWD to promote local and state events. Financial transactions and accounting are also handled by IWD.

A state coordinator resides in the IWD administrative office and works with the Board of Directors, maintains statewide communication with the field offices and councils.

Purpose of Local Councils

The local Employers’ Council partnership with the local Workforce Centers is the foundation. Building healthy working relationships between the members and workforce center managers and staff creates a vehicle for open communication. Through an open dialogue, members learn about services, provide feedback and suggestions for improvements, as well as participating in the decision-making process concerning local services.

Active communications at the local and state levels keep everyone better informed about the policies and funding issues that expand or restrict the availability of local services. The information gained at meetings and seminars help everyone understand changes with IWD and national policy direction.

Local Organization and Structure

Local Councils are composed of employers who volunteer to serve as advisors to local Workforce Centers and liaisons within the business community. Committee membership is composed of a cross section of the employer community with representatives from all types of businesses, both private and public.

Committees work directly with the local Workforce Center manager and staff to identify employment and business needs relevant to the employer community and initiate actions in response to these needs.

The primary purpose of the local Council is to:

  • Serve as a vehicle for communication between the Workforce Centers and the local business community.
  • Provide a method for informing local employers about important workplace issues.

To accomplish these goals Iowa Councils:

  • Design and implement awareness programs to meet business and community needs.
  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings to suggest methods to improve service and performance in workforce centers.
  • Sponsor low-cost educational seminars featuring state and local leaders.

Benefits of Employer Involvement

The principle aim of the Employers’ Council is to involve employers with IWD in a partnership effort to inform and educate the community about IWD and other government services germane to employment and general business operations. Involvement in ECI provides an ideal vehicle for employers to become better informed and serve their community in the process.

Some of the immediate and long-range benefits are:

  • Business input into government to better serve the needs of the community.
  • A forum for voicing the business view on workplace issues.
  • Increased information about employment and training services.
  • Lower unemployment compensation costs due to better understanding of the system and procedures.
  • Increased use and better understanding of IWD services resulting in better utilization of employer tax dollars.
  • A better understanding of workers’ compensation and OSHA.

Revised June 2002

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