Iowa Works of Southern Iowa holds open house for the public

An open house was held Thursday at the Iowa Works of Southern Iowa offices. The open house allowed public officials to learn more about the organization, and how it serves the community.

Iowa Works sits right across the street from the new Ottumwa Job Corps campus. The organizationâ??s main goal is to help get Iowans back to work. Iowa Works is funded by the State of Iowa and the Department of Labor.

â??One of the biggest messages that we want to get across, is that we are not an unemployment office. We are an opportunity for people, job seekers, to help them find jobs or new careers, even to upscale,â?? said Linda Rouse, Operations Manager with Region 15.

With the workforce changing constantly, these offices are critical to making sure that people around the state are ready for those changes.

â??The rate of change in the workforce is accelerating. It is not getting slower. We need to constantly upgrade our workforce. They have to constantly learn new skills and put those skills into practice,â?? said State Representative Curt Hanson of Fairfield.

One skill that Iowa Works helps with, is getting job seekers ready to go out on interviews, something that is critical in todayâ??s competitive market.

â??A lot of people, they may have worked for a company, seven, eight or nine years; so they havenâ??t interviewed for quite a while. So we can help them prepare for that next interview or prepare for that next job,â?? Rouse said.

For those who have not taken advantage of programs Iowa Works offers, community leaders urge the public to do so.

â??Well I think that people that havenâ??t been here should be over here looking at what is happening because there are so many different areas that people can receive assistance in,â?? Hanson said.

Rouse says that anyone is invited to take advantage of programs offered at Iowa Works. Their office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 â?? 4:30, and on Wednesdays from 9:00 â?? 4:30.

For more information on Iowa Works, click here.