IowaWORKS’ new Mobile Workforce Center is hitting the road this month to bring career planning assistance to Iowans across the state.

The brand new 32-foot-long workforce center was publicly unveiled at the Iowa State Capitol on Thursday. The custom-built, ADA-accessible bus has 10 computer workstations and two 40-inch monitors (one on the outside), making it possible for IowaWORKS to provide both outdoor workshops and one-on-one career advising in every far-flung corner of the state.

Linda Rouse, IWD’s Division Administrator overseeing IowaWORKS offices around the state, describes the Mobile Workforce Center as a valuable tool that will help the department expand the number of people it serves.

“There are Iowans out there who simply are not aware of the vast services and programs that are available at our IowaWORKS centers,” Rouse said. “Our IowaWORKS Mobile Workforce Center will be deployed to communities that do not have a brick-and-mortar IowaWORKS center. This is a great resource to reach out and serve Iowans where they are.”

Alongside its use as an outreach tool, the mobile center will be used by IowaWORKS Rapid Response teams to quickly provide unemployment assistance or concentrated career planning advice in areas that have been hit by a natural disaster, mass layoffs, or a sudden business closure.

“IowaWORKS rapid response teams are prepared to help Iowans immediately after events that impact their employment,” said Michelle McNertney, IWD’s Division Administrator for Workforce Services. “The Mobile Workforce Center will allow these teams to provide services in the immediate area, even directly on site, rather than requiring impacted workers to come to a brick-and-mortar location.”

The IowaWORKS Mobile Workforce Center is expected to make appearances throughout the spring and summer at major events, as well as making daylong stops to provide access for those in smaller communities. A new web page launched this week to help Iowans keep track of the mobile unit’s schedule and request its presence in their communities.

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