Iowa Democrats eyeing November victories

Challenging Reynolds’ record

Listening to employers from Boone to Des Moines to Washington (Iowa) say the lack of skilled workers is priority one, has motivated Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price to speak out.

His mission: Tell Iowa voters Republican reductions on Iowa Workforce Development and other policies is hurting employers’ ability to fill employment needs.

“We have closed 36 Iowa Workforce Development offices since 2010, and nine this year,” Price said. “Consequently, we have laid off 240 skilled employees who could have helped people write resumes, conduct mock interviews and find good jobs. We hear a lot about the lack of skilled workers … and we know there are people looking for good paying jobs.”

Price said in 2010, 260,000 Iowans used Workforce Development offices. That number dropped to 160,000 a number of years later.

The drop coincided with the closing of Workforce Development offices. Marshalltown’s Workforce Development office remains open.

Price said the Republican alternative to closing the offices was to set up kiosks in public libraries, which has been inefficient.

Price also claimed cuts in education funding, especially that to community colleges, has also contributed to the skilled worker deficit.

With three months to go until the Nov. 6, general election, Price stopped by the Times-Republican Friday to challenge Republican platforms and promote Democratic candidates.

He also said Democrats would be working harder this election to promote a message “they have people’s backs. I don’t think in recent years we have done a good enough job doing that.”

He said he is also impressed with a record number of Democrats who ran in the June primaries, as well as

those who won, and their current campaigns.

The victors are running solid campaigns, in his opinion.

“They are going door-to-door in communities large and small,” he said.

Tornado victims

After talking at length with State Rep. Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown), Price expressed concern about Marshalltown residents still working to get out from under the weight of the July 19 EF-3 tornado. Price said he hoped to get a group of volunteers together to help.

“There is always a lot of help those first few weeks after a disaster,” he said. “But it is the next five months …. where help is needed to paint houses and other tasks. I hope we can help.”

Price was elected chairman in July last year. His primary task is to revitalize the Iowa Democratic Party which has one of six federal offices.

At the state level, Republicans control the governor’s office, auditor’s office, Secretary of Agriculture, House and Senate. Democrats have Tom Miller as state attorney general and Mike Fitzgerald as state treasurer.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com