Yep, you heard me.
I personally haven’t received the threatening letter, but several unemployed have. Below is the entire letter:
This letter is to provide you with a second notice that you have been selected to receive customized services through Iowa’s Re-Employment Services Program. In order for us to support your pursuit in a new career and/or job, we are prepared to provide you with exceptional Re-Employment Services.
The orientation you are scheduled for will assist you in the development of the most effective reemployment plan. As part of this process, it will be necessary for you to report to the location listed below for an orientation and assessment. Failure to appear on the date and time listed below WILL result in the denial of unemployment insurance benefits. (The red is all me)
Please bring this notice and a resume (if available) with you on the day you are scheduled
- Time to Report: 9AM-3PM (Please plan accordingly and pack items for 30 minute lunch and 15 minute breaks. Fast food restaurants are located nearby the IWD office.)
- Report to: Success Center (DMACC), 800 Porter Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50315-5154
The unemployed have enough to deal with, but now they are being threatened with a discontinuation of benefits for not attending this program? What if this particular person lived out of state and couldn’t attend the program? What if they had a job interview scheduled for this date and time?
Fortunately, (unfortunately for him ) Jeff Johnson, Local Veterans Employment Specialist at IowaWorks, stopped by Unemployed in Des Moines Networking last week at Smokey Row – just as I got my hands on this letter. Boy, did the group have some questions for Jeff!
- Jeff confirmed that benefits will cease of the person doesn’t attend the program – THIS IS REAL FOLKS!
- Those who have been unemployed for an extended period of time are the most likely to be “invited” to attend. IowaWorks wants to offer these “customized services” to those most in need.
I’ve spoken with a couple people who have attended this program and here are some of their thoughts:
- One person was hopeful that they were going to get some amazing training. Little did she know that the person leading the program had been with IowaWorks for 25 years and was only in the job because it was easy money and she was close to retirement. The leader was more interested in leaving early than in helping the attendees with their resumes.
- Another attendee said that they were given examples of resumes which he would NEVER use in an application process because the layout and content wasn’t fresh for today’s job market.
IowaWorks has begun listing some of their workshop offerings on their convoluted website. They’re extremely difficult to find, so here’s a link. As you can see, these classes are so basic and predominately geared towards the blue collared worker. That’s not going to cut it today. There are also white collared workers out of a job who have different needs. They need to be brought up to speed on LinkedIn and how to use other social media tools in their job search. What about the Informational Interview? We all know by now that networking is important, but a “How To” class would be helpful.
If IowaWorks is going to threaten the unemployed, they should at least offer useful programming instead of curriculum from the 1990s…