Workforce discussed at Capitol

February 9, 2017

This week, workforce was a topic of discussion in several meetings. The Economic Growth Committee in the House heard from Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend.

She gave a general overview of the department and their 2017 legislative priorities. Townsend noted that wait times for callers concerning unemployment was down tremendously in 2016 compared to 2014 and 2015. She also highlighted Future Ready Iowa, adding that one of the primary goals of the initiative is to have 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce either have post-secondary education, training or a credential of value by 2025. Members of the committee had several questions and comments for Townsend.

The Education Appropriations Subcommittee heard from members of the career and technical education (CTE) task force on Tuesday. Members of the taskforce highlighted the need of being able to provide high quality career and technical education to all students in Iowa. They also provided recommendations from the taskforce to members of the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Legislators asked questions concerning the funding of the program. Related to career and technical education, ABI joined a nationwide letter supporting CTE, you can see the letter here.

On Tuesday afternoon a subcommittee was held on workforce housing initiatives. SSB1035 would increase the amount of workforce housing tax credits from $20M to $30M under the overall $170M tax credit cap. The program which encourages the development of workforce housing is currently oversubscribed. The bill would also create a small city set-aside under the workforce housing tax credit program. The bill advanced out of the subcommittee and now will go to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Staff contact: Jessica Harder