Branstad Says Workforce Development Cuts are Addition by Subtraction

Employment Kiosks set up in the North Liberty Library are among the first virtual unemployment offices to be set up to help communities go back to work, Tuesday, August 30, 2011. (Kenny Knutson/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Adam Carros

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is defending his overhaul of Iowa Workforce Development services, saying his efforts have led to expanded access to employment services.

Branstad vetoed portions of a budget bill this year, forcing the closure of dozens of regional Workforce Development offices that help people find jobs and seek aid.

Speaking at his weekly news conference Monday, Branstad noted officials have added 370 access points, where people can use state computers to seek state services.

Workforce Development director Teresa Wahlert says more people used the services in September and October than during the same period last year.

Wahlert says the agency plans to expand the number of access points and hopes to have as many as 500 by the end of the year.

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