Recently, the University of Iowa announced its plan to close the Labor Center, Iowa’s only institution dedicated to labor-related education and research. The center, created by the legislature in 1951, has functioned well as a public-private partnership providing research, information, education and expertise to workers and employers in the State of Iowa. It’s been part of the University of Iowa’s College of Law for 67 years.
As a state legislator, with a district in Cedar Rapids, I look at the statewide impact of decisions through the local lens of my constituents. Many in my district have tapped the Labor Center’s resources and I have personally benefited from Labor Center trainings in town.
Labor education supplies critical knowledge and skills, making employees and employers better and workplaces safer for everyone. This is a critical part of Iowa’s efforts to develop and maintain a highly skilled workforce. That’s why I am working to save our Labor Center.
The university made its decision without input from key stakeholders and without understanding the implications for Iowans. The people of Iowa deserve to be heard before the doors are closed.
For this reason, public hearings have been scheduled around the state. I will be attending in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the IBEW 405 Hall, 1211 Wiley Blvd SW. Please join me and add your voice to the support for our Labor Center.
Iowa Rep. Art Staed
House District 66