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NEWS 6.14.23: Davenport demolition, tuition increase, Ames honors Black aviation pioneer and more

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In downtown Davenport today crews are knocking down the remainder of the partially collapsed building that killed three residents in May.

The city hired two firms to try and answer why part of the building fell.

The state’s Division of Criminal Investigation separately is looking into the collapse.

A judge has blocked an attempt to pause the ongoing demolition of the Davenport apartment building that partially collapsed in May.

The emergency motion came from the legal team of two former residents currently suing the building’s owner, the City, and others for negligence. They say the demolition destroys valuable evidence in the process and that the city did not adequately notify them of demolition beginning again this week.

An annual report on child well-being has ranked Iowa sixth in the nation.

However, child welfare advocates say Iowa still has a lot of work to do.

The annual KidsCount report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Iowa kids on economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

Iowa ranked near the top nationally in areas like the number of high schoolers graduating on time and the number of kids who are not living in households with a high-cost burden.

Advocates say Iowa also needs to work on areas like teen birth rates and the number of toddlers attending preschool.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the U.S. should stop humanitarian aid to Ukraine and focus on providing more military equipment.

Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, served 23 years in the Iowa National Guard and Army Reserve. Ernst says it’s important to our own national security to provide Ukraine with what it needs to defeat the Russians.

A southeast Iowa biodiesel plant is shutting down.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch reports managers of the W2Fuel biodiesel plant in Crawfordsville have notified the state that the plant is closing.

The federal tax credit for biodiesel production is worth a dollar per gallon, but the debt deal Congress and the president just agreed to will end the credit on December 31st of next year.

W2Fuel needed to buy new equipment to test for carbon emissions from its southeast Iowa plant, but company executives say the investment probably wouldn’t pay off if the biodiesel credit ends.

There are 10 other plants in Iowa producing biodiesel.

Tuition is going up at Iowa’s public universities next year.

The Iowa Board of Regents today approved a 3.5 percent increase for undergraduate tuition at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

That puts tuition for Iowa residents at the U of I and ISU at right around 9,000 dollars and near 8,400 dollars at UNI.

The decision to increase tuition comes after the Republican-led legislature held general state funding to Iowa’s public universities flat for next year. There was additional funding for specific programs, especially in high-demand fields like nursing, education and technology.

The city of Ames is hosting a dedication ceremony Saturday for the renaming of its airport. A spokesperson, says the airport is being named in honor of African-American flight pioneer James Herman Banning. For more on the story check out this link from Radio Iowa: https://www.radioiowa.com/2023/06/14/ames-airport-to-be-renamed-in-honor-of-african-american-flight-pioneer/

A northwest Iowa community of nearly a thousand residents will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding this weekend.

Events in Aurelia begin Friday afternoon with a parade on Saturday.

The City of Aurelia was named for the daughter of the man who owned the Illinois Central Railroad.

Submitted news release:

Iowa Workforce Development, Dept. of Education Call on Educators to Register at IowaWORKS.gov

Iowa’s largest jobs bank will soon replace Teach Iowa as the main outlet for listing education jobs

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Education are launching a statewide outreach campaign and online videos to help Iowa education leaders learn how to post education-related jobs on the IowaWORKS.gov website. This information will become vitally important for school administration and human resource personnel given the recent passage and signing into law of Senate File 560 – a bill that, among other things, eliminated the Department of Education’s Teach Iowa job posting system. Division XVI of SF560 instructs Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Education, to establish a system that allows the Iowa Department of Education, school districts, charter schools, Area Education Agencies, and accredited nonpublic schools to post job openings. The new system will replace the current Teach Iowa site, which will no longer be funded or maintained. This means:

  • By July 1, 2023, the Department of Education, school districts, charter schools, and AEAs must begin to post job openings on the IowaWORKS system maintained by IWD.
  • Open jobs currently posted on Teach Iowa will be moved to IowaWORKS without the need for further action by the poster. However, no new job postings will be accepted in the Teach Iowa system after July 1.
  • Job applicants who have resumes and credentials stored on the Teach Iowa site will need to retrieve that information and/or upload new versions of it to IowaWORKS.gov.

Contact IWD for Assistance Iowa Department of Education Director Chad Aldis already has reached out to Iowa school districts to inform them about the Teach Iowa transition and how education organizations can connect with IowaWORKS.gov. “The summer hiring season is a very busy time for Iowa schools,” said Director Aldis said. “We are working closely with IWD and our school partners to help ensure a smooth transition for schools, job-seeking teachers and support personnel.” Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development, said IWD staff will provide as much training and assistance as necessary to help educators and job seekers get started with IowaWORKS.gov. “We will do whatever’s necessary to get the right information to the right people as quickly as possible,” Director Townsend said. “IWD exists to connect employers with the qualified workers they need, and now we will be bringing that focus to education careers on Iowa’s largest jobs platform. We will be working diligently to help those in education learn about the powerful tools available through IowaWORKS.gov.” Education-affiliated institutions already can post open jobs on IowaWORKS.gov by following the instructions in IWD’s job posting guide. One-on-one assistance with posting jobs also is available by contacting the IWD Business Engagement Division at 1-833-469-2967 or iaworks@iwd.iowa.gov. The Business Engagement Division was formed last year to provide one-on-one assistance for any Iowa employer dealing with workforce challenges. Education organizations can expect to be contacted by an IWD Business Engagement Consultant (BEC) sometime prior to July 1 to offer assistance getting started on IowaWORKS.gov. BECs are based in IowaWORKS offices around the state and will be able to:

  • Help schools post jobs quickly.
  • Arrange individualized training.
  • Assist with any other issues related to transitioning to the new system.

Start preparing now! Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Education strongly urge everyone involved in education-related job searches to register with IowaWORKS as soon as possible. This goes for job seekers as well as hiring organizations. Registering will enable job applicants to post a resume and search for vacant positions using the virtual recruiter. One-on-one assistance to get started is available both online and at your local IowaWORKS office. IWD plans to retrieve any active job listings on Teach Iowa (those posted but not yet filled) and upload them onto IowaWORKS.gov by July 1. The migration will not require any action by the poster. However, all job vacancies advertised after July 1 must be posted in IowaWORKS under the new law. Other information stored in the Teach Iowa system, such as teacher resumes and credentials, will not be permanently maintained there. Job seekers should register for an account on IowaWORKS.gov as soon as possible to be ready to upload information into the IWD system and apply for open positions. Online training now and in the futureIWD has recorded a series of virtual trainings to teach appropriate school officials about the IowaWORKS system, including its capabilities, how to post jobs, and how to utilize all available resources. Three videos are currently available on IWD’s new Iowa Education Jobs webpage:

  • Introduction to IowaWORKS
  • Posting a Job
  • Using the Virtual Recruiter

A separate set of two videos, also available on the website, covers what to do for job seekers who wish to register and begin pursuing opportunities within school districts.

  • Job Seeker Services on IowaWORKS
  • Registration on IowaWORKS

IWD will develop additional training if needed for both job seekers and hiring managers. Watch the Iowa Education Jobs page for more information as it becomes available.