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For Immediate Release: May 19, 2009
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646

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Iowa Workforce Development Meets With Community Leaders, Discusses Enhancement in Unemployment

CEDAR RAPIDS – Iowa Workforce Development Deputy Director Joe Walsh met with community leaders today to discuss recent changes in Iowa’s unemployment insurance program related to the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act and the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“With the passage of Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act, Iowa is well positioned to reshape the future of our state, to retrain workers to meet the demands of the new economy and to ensure that unemployed Iowans receive needed assistance as soon as possible,” indicated Deputy Director Walsh. “During a recent event, President Obama indicated that unemployment insurance should not simply be a’ safety net, but a stepping stone to a new future’, and Iowa is well on the way to making this goal a reality.”

During today’s meeting, the Deputy Director discussed Iowa’s leading edge in allowing unemployed Iowans to retain benefits while seeking training; how alternate base period will ensure that Iowans in need receive their eligible unemployment benefits faster; and what the unemployment provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has added to the local economies across the state. This includes over $24.1 million for Linn County since the beginning of 2009. Funds that are used to buy groceries maintain utilities and pay mortgages in the community.

Unemployment insurance benefits provide an economic safety net to unemployed Iowans and their community. Over $272 million dollars in benefits were paid out to Iowans during the first quarter of 2009.

Iowa Workforce Development provides comprehensive workforce services to Iowans and businesses across the state.


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