Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: February 10, 2023
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487

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IWD Receives National Award for Successful Reemployment Case Management Program
“2022 Full Employment Award” Honors Effectiveness of IWD Program to Help Jobless Reenter Workforce

DES MOINES, IOWA – The American Institute for Full Employment (AIFE) this morning named Iowa Workforce Development as the recipient of its 2022 Full Employment Award. The award is given each year to one or more states or individuals demonstrating a commitment to excellence in helping job seekers become reemployed.

In issuing the award, AIFE noted that states across the country experienced historic labor shortages following COVID-19 while labor force participation remained low. Iowa responded to this urgent need for workers by launching its Reemployment Case Management (RCM) program in January 2022. At the same time, the state increased weekly work search expectations to require that unemployment recipients complete at least three job applications weekly (plus one other activity) to maintain their benefits.

The RCM program provides one-on-one assistance for jobless Iowans beginning with the first week of their unemployment claims. RCM career planners conduct weekly meetings with unemployment claimants (both virtual and in-person) to provide individualized job search assistance and connections to any needed resources. In the program’s first year, RCM career planners held more than 24,000 meetings with claimants, and more than 5,000 claimants reported that they found work while part of the program.

AIFE notes that while nearly one in three U.S. unemployment claims (31 percent) led to the exhaustion of benefits in Q3 2022, Iowa was able to reduce the percentage of its claimants who exhausted their unemployment benefits to 13.7 percent, the second lowest in the nation.

Commenting on Iowa’s success, AIFE President John Courtney said, “It’s encouraging to see leading states like Iowa optimize their policies and processes and implement effective approaches to reemploy UI claimants and stabilize the economy.”

Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development, thanked AIFE for the recognition.

“We’re extremely appreciative that AIFE and others are recognizing the progress that Iowa has made since a year ago, when we launched our new focus on improving the pathway to reemployment,” Townsend said.  “IWD’s goal continues to be serving Iowans the best way we can. We’re always looking for the best possible ways to connect growing Iowa employers with talented workers in pursuit of a new career.”

The American Institute for Full Employment is a nonprofit consulting and research group, founded in 1994 to promote best practices in solving unemployment in America. Its mission is Full Employment in America. The Institute’s team consists of former state agency executives. Its team has designed best practices in workforce, unemployment, and welfare programs for decades, working on policy design and implementation in more than 25 states.

For more about Iowa’s award and prior year award recipients, read the national press release or visit the AIFE website