Iowa Workforce System Transformation Project

Iowa state capitol building

In 2019, the State of Iowa sought to transform its public workforce system to streamline service delivery, strategically leverage resources, and comply with key Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements while also improving outcomes for both job seeker and employer customers. 

To drive this effort, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) collaborated with AIR to develop and implement a transformation plan that included reconfiguration of local workforce development areas, policy development, and capacity building for state and local workforce board members and staff and chief elected officials.

To support the implementation of Iowa’s system transformation vision, AIR:

  • Developed a step-by-step action plan with IWD to execute all of the required and strategic steps for local area reconfiguration, such as analysis of labor market information, local area public education and consultation, development of timelines for allocation of funding, development of new and refined policies, and delivery of capacity building to orient new local workforce development board members.
  • Delivered face-to-face training to local elected officials across the state to provide an overview of the public workforce system’s objectives, design, and services. This training also outlined the governance changes proposed by the state and the elected officials’ role in overseeing the effective implementation of the workforce system.
  • Developed and supported the implementation of a communication plan and robust education tools for all system stakeholders to understand and effectively implement their roles in the system, including strategic delivery of programs and services.

This foundational work led to additional partnership phases with IWD to continue system transformation efforts. 

AIR support included:

  • Facilitation and development of the Iowa State Workforce Development Board’s first strategic plan.
  • Facilitation of the state’s WIOA core partners to develop and issue One-Stop Certification Standards.
  • Development of resources and training on compliant and effective local level Memoranda of Understanding and Infrastructure Funding Agreements.
  • Development of training and related resources on innovative and strategic service design and delivery for local workforce development boards.  
  • Process mapping with IWD to develop consistent and streamlined monitoring practices that support compliant and effective service delivery at the local level.

Iowa’s public workforce system transformation efforts continue to evolve and innovate to meet the needs of the state’s workers and employers to drive healthy regional economies and prosperous communities.