Appropriations Committee hears from Iowa Workforce Development

February 11, 2016

The joint House and Senate Economic Development Appropriations Committee received a presentation by the Iowa Workforce Development Director on Tuesday. During the meeting, Director Beth Townsend updated the full committee on improvements in the agency related to addressing unemployment insurance fraud, working to close the skills gap, responsiveness to customers and enhancements in communications.

Committee co-chairman Sen. Bill Dotzler asked Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro for an update on activity related to “wage theft.” Commissioner Mauro said told the committee that the agency receives about 600 wage payment claims per year and only handles claims less than $5,000. The average claim is $1,200 and larger claims go through the legal system. Mauro thanked legislators for providing additional funds in 2015 to hire an investigator. He said the new individual has been hired and the department now has a total of three investigators.