Iowa Laying Off Workforce Development Staffers

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 Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state is laying off staffers at the Iowa Workforce Development agency, which provides services to unemployed residents.

In an email sent to agency workers this week, Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert announced 30 staffers would lose their jobs, both union-represented and non-union workers. Wahlert says in the email that the staff reductions were due to a loss of federal funding.

But Danny Homan — who is president of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — says Wednesday the state has a budget surplus and should be able to afford the workers. He says the cuts will limit aid for out of work state residents seeking jobs.

Gov. Terry Branstad's spokesman Tim Albrecht says Branstad remains focused on helping Iowans find jobs.

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