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For Immediate Release: April 23, 2009
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646

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Iowa Workforce Development Deputy Testifies Before Congress,
Discusses Recovery Act Impacts on Unemployed Iowans

Des Moines – Iowa Workforce Development Deputy Director Joseph Walsh will testify before a Congressional Ways and Means Committee on the impact of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on unemployed Iowans. The hearing will take place today at 10:00AM EDT. Deputy Director Walsh will focus on a number of issues affecting Iowa’s economy, the recently passed unemployment modernization bill, the need to invest in upgrading the skills of Iowa’s workers. Iowa was the first state in the nation to pass all of the provisions attached to the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act within the federal Recovery Act.

"With the passage of the Federal Recovery Act, we have a significant opportunity to give some help to struggling working families," stated Deputy Director Joe Walsh. "The unemployment provisions of the Recovery Act were the first stimulus dollars to find their way into our local communities. These dollars will play a large role in getting our economy back on the right track."

In addition to Deputy Director Walsh, the following individuals will also be testifying before Congress:

• Ray Uhalde, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, United States Department of Labor;
• Michael L. Thurmond, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Labor, Atlanta, Georgia;
• Maurice Emsellem, Policy Director, National Employment Law Project, Oakland, California;
• Mike Mitternight, Owner and President, Factory Service Agency, Inc., Metairie, Louisiana;
• Heidi Shierholz, Ph. D., Economist, Economic Policy Institute

The federal Recovery Act provided Iowans receiving unemployment benefits with an additional $25 each week. During the first quarter of 2009, the additional benefits and the federal emergency unemployment compensation added over $41 million in federal funds into Iowa’s economy.

Copies of Deputy Director Walsh’s written statement to Congress are available from the Communications Office.


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