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News Release

ETA News Release: [06/04/2009]
Contact Name: Peggy Abrahamson
Phone Number: (202) 693-7909
Release Number: 09-618-DEN

U.S. Labor Department announces release of $70.8 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Iowa

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has certified for release $70,814,387 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Iowa. Iowa qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by enacting new provisions that assist recent entrants to the workforce, part-time workers and people who are upgrading their skills.

"Iowa is to be commended for making important updates to its UI program to better meet the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Iowa is helping unemployed workers who have entered the workforce recently, work part-time or need training to become re-employed."

Iowa Workforce Development can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the state legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

State and federal officials had the following comments about this announcement:

"I have long believed that a core principal of economic recovery is putting money in the hands of unemployed workers who can immediately turn that money around in the local economy," said Sen. Tom Harkin. "And in turn, unemployment insurance is an important safety net that protects hard working Americans who temporarily fall on hard times. As an original co-sponsor of legislation this year to modernize the unemployment system, this was a key priority for me in the Recovery Act. I am so pleased that $70.8 million is coming back to Iowa, and I am pleased that the state legislature, Gov. Culver, and our outstanding Workforce Development Director Lis Buck worked so quickly to pass legislation that will improve the unemployment insurance system in the state."

"As governor, my top priority is putting people back to work, rebuilding our economy and our state," said Gov. Chet Culver. "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will help people who are struggling during our national economic challenge by helping them develop the skills they need to enter or remain in the workforce."

"This important aspect of the federal stimulus package will help displaced workers make ends meet and acquire training to re-enter the workforce in a timely fashion," said U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, who represents Iowa's 3rd congressional district. "I commend the state for their leadership in meeting the requirements and being a strong partner in my effort to create jobs in Iowa."

"Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create jobs and help working families hurt by this recession," said U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who represents Iowa's 1st congressional district. "The money released today will help Iowans who have lost their jobs get back on their feet and get back to work."

"I believe in a comprehensive approach to moving Iowa forward and tackling unemployment," said U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, who represents the state's 2nd congressional district. "Here in Iowa, and around the country, we need an approach that propels our workforce forward at every stage. By increasing access to training and development, we equip Iowans with skills that will help them to re-enter and advance in the workforce."

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. Iowa's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery. The approved applications of other states also can be found at this site.