Business

Iowa workforce initiatives seek to hit federal metrics

(File photo) A student takes notes in a workbook during a class at the IowaWORKS facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
(File photo) A student takes notes in a workbook during a class at the IowaWORKS facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

During the first five weeks of unemployment in the state of Iowa, claim accounts are reviewed to see if the individual should participate in the Reemployment and Eligibility Services Assessment program.

“Our Reemployment and Eligibility Services Assessment is set up much like the Nevada model,” said Carlos Vega, Iowa Workforce Development manager and one of the operational managers in the Cedar Rapids IowaWORKS office.

The minimum required components of RESEA include:

  • One-on-one services for the eligibility review and development of an individual re-employment plan, or IRP
  • A requirement that the claimant report to an assigned IowaWORKS location
  • An orientation, including information on the labor market and career information that addresses the claimant’s specific needs
  • Registration with the state’s job bank
  • Access to employment services
  • Referrals and coordination with other workforce activities
  • Information and assistance with financial aid resources
  • Financial literacy services and career readiness activities including assistance with resume writing and/or interviewing and access to a series of workshops to build up technical skills.

In 2017, offices statewide had approximately 544 customers who completed the RESEA program each month.

“We track participation rates and also the success stories of those individuals who’ve completed RESEA and become re-employed and share their experiences with us,” Vega said.

The role his team plays is vital in the success of the program, even if the services they provide don’t cover everything a job seeker might need, Vega added.

“We see ourselves as a portal to all the services available in the center and the community,” he said. “If a customer comes in asking for assistance we don’t provide, we will make ‘warm’ handoff referrals rather than just pointing them in the right direction.

“We do this so the agency being referred to is aware and the customer feels more supported in the process.”

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RESEA is offered in 10, one-stop Iowa Workforce centers throughout the state, but plans for expanding the program to all Iowa Workforce office locations by the end of 2018 are underway.

More information can be found at iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/reemployment-services-resea.

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