In some cases, an employee has to be terminated for violating company protocol. In others, however, employees have to be laid off for financial reasons alone.

A new $1.04 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is designed to help prevent this type of layoff, when a business has to make a tough decision due to a decline in consumer activity. According to Iowa Workforce Development, the grant money will be funneled into the Voluntary Shared Work Program.

“The Voluntary Shared Work program allows companies to avoid layoffs and permits employees to stay connected to their jobs while the employers maintain a skilled workforce for when business improves,” explained IWD interim director Beth Townsend. “This grant provides an opportunity for Iowa to significantly expand the program and streamline the process for Iowa businesses and workers.”

With the new grant, Iowa will be able to create a web portal for employers’ VSW submissions. There will also be new educational materials created by the IWD geared toward businesses, in addition to other features. As it stands, employers using VSW can reduce workers’ hours and offset lost wages with unemployment insurance. The grant will help bolster that program.

Iowa sees lower unemployment rate
In addition to the grant money, Iowa is also on fairly stable ground in terms of the labor market. According to a separate news release from the IWD, the jobless rate for the state declined to 4.1 percent in December. That is slightly below the 4.2 percent reported at the same time in 2013.

“The State’s economy ended on a high note in December,” noted Townsend. “Recent stagnation within global markets has shown little impact on the U.S. and Iowa economies. The Iowa unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent, while nonfarm employment gained 2,100 jobs.”

“Employers use VSW to avoid costly layoffs.”

In December, there were only 71,100 unemployed Iowans. There were 73,600 in November. Strong job growth was reported in manufacturing, durable goods factories and nondurable goods. On the other hand, the greatest decrease was in the trade and transportation sector.

Overall, Iowa’s labor market is on the right track. The DOL grant will help employers better manage a down period – and avoid higher unemployment insurance claims – while workers won’t be completely laid off from their jobs.

Juggling tax rates and difficult employees can become challenging at your company. Here at Corporate Cost Control, we understand these problems and are well-positioned to help. Our extensive background in cost control and human resources will allow you to better manage your unemployment insurance expenses.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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(800) 207-6926

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