Iowa Workforce Development has been going through a significant transition period under the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA). Current Regions 1, 2 and 7 have voluntarily formed a new 20-county entity, the Northeast Iowa Workforce Area. Dubuque County was formerly part of Region 1.
Chief Elected Officials (CEO’s) from all 20 counties have been working diligently to ensure that important employment services and training programs are provided to citizens in the new workforce area. Dave Baker, Chairperson of Dubuque County Board of Supervisors, has been extremely involved in the re-organization process and was elected by his peers to serve as the Chief Lead Elected Official (CLEO) for the new entity. Action taken by the Northeast Iowa Workforce Area includes the development of a 28E agreement between the 20 counties, recruitment of a Local Workforce Development Board, developing bylaws and the hiring of a Fiscal Agent, as well as developing Request for Proposal (RFP) criteria to hire service providers through a competitive bidding process. This entire process is being accomplished within a limited budget and an aggressive time frame, which has been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Baker has been working with all 20 county CEO’s in a truly bi-partisan manner, on behalf of the thousands of citizens being served. Dave Baker’s leadership and organizing skills have definitely helped in achieving a smooth transition process.