Despite Layoffs, Work Force Development Not Adding Staff

By Justin Foss, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS - The Iowa Workforce Development office in Cedar Rapids is busier than ever these days.

Buddy Fenton is just one of the many who stop here a couple times a week to look for work.

"And of the places you've looked, this is the place with the most jobs?" "For right now, yeah," said Fenton.

But Fenton said he's spending too much time in here, and not on the streets looking for work. He said that's because there's not enough staff to help out.

KCRG-TV9 asked for the staffing numbers from Iowa Workforce Development for the last two years.

While the number of people looking for work has increased drastically, the number of people helping them find work hasn't.

Here's a breakdown of the staffing, in 2007 there were 816 workers statewide. In 2008 there were 830.

However, the number of workers in Cedar Rapids stands at 31, and hasn't changed since before 2007.

Other people who use IWD aren't surprised about what Fenton calls a lack of staffing.

"That's probably true, but everybody gets cut somewhere, so," said Kevin Mullarkey.

IWD Communication Cordinator Katie Hommer said they can't hire any more right now because they're part of the state-wide hiring freeze.

Problems is, that freeze started in December and the economy started tanking well before then.

Fenton also said the phone number of the Job Service of Iowa, which is connected to IWD, is always busy. He said he's called it everyday for weeks, and can never get through.

Email Justin Foss at Justin.Foss@kcrg.com
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