IOWA WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) is a state agency committed to providing employment services for individual job seekers and to serving employers by helping them find the skilled workforce they need. Both groups can connect with each other through IowaWorks.gov, the state’s largest job bank.
Job seekers can find a variety of career counseling and workshop services by visiting IowaWorks.gov or one of the IowaWORKS centers located around the state. IWD supports employers through its Business Engagement Division and provides a variety of resources and one-on-one support. This includes helping employers to post jobs, recruit veterans, apply for qualifying federal tax credits, and connect with workforce training programs available through several state programs.
IWD continually strives to improve processes and align the organization in such a way that it provides effective, demand-driven products and services. In July 2023, the state centralized Iowa’s workforce-related programs and services within IWD, adding Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) and the Adult Education and Literacy programs to the agency. IVRS will continue to work Iowans who have a disability to help them prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in employment. The alignment of these programs and additions to IWD are expected to streamline the resources and services available to all Iowans seeking new careers.
To create, enable and sustain the most future ready workforce in the nation.
Director Townsend has general supervision over the various services IWD provides to Iowans. The Director prepares, administers, and controls the budget of the agency and its divisions.
Director Townsend has been in her current position since 2015 when she was first appointed by Governor Branstad. Director Townsend was reappointed by Governor Reynolds in January 2019 and again in January 2023 and confirmed by the Iowa Senate after each respective appointment. She previously served as the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Director Townsend served in the United States Air Force and ultimately retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of active and reserve duty.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE & INFRASTRUCTURE
Ryan West joined Iowa Workforce Development in 2009, working in Unemployment Insurance. In 2019, Ryan assumed the role of Deputy Director where has held various process improvement responsibilities, including creating the Mission: Employable podcast in 2021 and hosted the first 150 episodes.
Currently, Ryan provides support to each division within IWD and facilitates legislation. Ryan is a Veteran of the United States Navy where he worked as Flight Deck Director on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S Abraham Lincoln.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING
Jon joined Iowa Workforce Development in May 2019 as an attorney in the Legal Department, where he provided advice on questions of law and policy involving the provision of workforce services and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. From March 2020 to September 2023, Jon served as Chief of Staff, where his duties and responsibilities included organizing and aligning strategic priorities across the agency, coordinating the flow of information to facilitate planning and decision-making, and providing guidance and advice on programmatic and employment matters to help achieve agency goals and objectives. In September 2023, Jon assumed his current role as Deputy Director Employment & Training, where his duties and responsibilities include direct oversight of the American Job Centers Division, Business Engagement Division, and Workforce Services Division.
Prior to joining IWD, Jon served on active duty for 21 years in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He served in a variety of roles and assignments worldwide during his career before retiring as a Captain. Jon received his Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Notre Dame, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He also holds a Master of Laws degree in international and comparative law from the George Washington University Law School. Jon is licensed to practice law in Iowa and Pennsylvania.
Visit this page to view IWD's annual reports and the services that were provided to Iowans.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/ AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY STATEMENT
The Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy Statement and supporting documents are provided for review.