Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: October 20, 2023
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Moving to IowaWORKS Office in Des Moines
DES MOINES, IOWA – Eighteen vocational rehabilitation counselors who currently work with job candidates in offices across from the Iowa Capitol complex will be moving their desks next week to the IowaWORKS job center in south Des Moines. The change is part of implementing a broad statewide alignment plan targeted to increase coordination of government services and make it easier for Iowans to access what they need.
Effective October 27, counselors with the Vocational Rehabilitation Services division of Iowa Workforce Development (who currently work out of the Jessie Parker Building, 510 E. 12th St.) will begin working from the IowaWORKS office at 200 Army Post Road in Des Moines.
The move, which is expected to improve efficiency and expand access to workforce services for Iowans with disabilities, is part of a broad reorganization of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the wake of its July 1 move to become part of IWD. More than 50 Voc Rehab staffers will be changing offices in October and November as part of work to more fully integrate the division into IWD.
“This is the first step in building the better workforce system that Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature have asked us to create for the betterment of all Iowans,” said Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “By putting agency staff together who do the same or similar work, we hope to learn from each other and find new ways to improve the service we deliver to Iowans.”
Finance and administration members of the Vocational Rehabilitation team moved earlier this month to the IWD offices at 1000 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines. Information technology staffers are expected to follow in early November. Plans call for the Vocational Rehabilitation division to fully vacate its portion of the Jessie Parker Building by the end of November.
“Iowa’s Vocational Rehabilitation team will be providing the same great service only in a new environment,” said James Williams, who took over as Division Administrator of Vocational Rehabilitation Services on October 2. “We’ll be providing the same important assistance. Only now, if the Iowans we serve turn out to need additional workforce services, we’ll be able to arrange that simply by walking down the hall. This is what a one-stop center is all about.”
Vocational Rehabilitation counselors will be seeing job candidates at the Jessie Parker Building as usual through October 25. The division will close to the public on October 26 to facilitate the move, then re-open at IowaWORKS on October 27. Vocational Rehabilitation has been promoting the move on its website, and signs directing visitors to the new location will be posted at Jessie Parker.
IVRS clients with questions should call their counselors or the Des Moines office at 515-281-4211. Information about the Des Moines IowaWORKS office, including directions and hours, can be found at this link. For more information on Vocational Rehabilitation Services, visit https://ivrs.iowa.gov.