May 25, 2017

Denison

Iowa Workforce Development is closing the temporary Tyson Transition Center in Denison and shifting its job-placement assistance to Carroll, state officials said Wednesday.

The Denison center provided training and support services to many of the 400 workers displaced by the Tyson Fresh Meats plant closure in August 2015. The last day the center is open will be Sept. 30.

In September 2015, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) used federal Rapid Response funds to stand up the temporary Tyson Transition Center.

Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said the Tyson Transition Center was originally scheduled to close at the end of March 2016, but dislocated workers in Crawford County were able to receive services for an additional 18 months due to federal funds.

“We look forward to providing them excellent services from our IowaWORKS office in Carroll,” Townsend said.

Iowans served in the Tyson Transition Center in Denison can receive services starting Oct. 1 in the Carroll IowaWORKS office.

The Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County (CDC) said in a news release it is disappointed to learn that Iowa Workforce Development plans to close the Tyson Transition Center.

The center has repeatedly assisted upwards of 300 visitors per month in improving skills, learning English, and finding jobs in the region. These figures exceed other full-time, permanent centers in Iowa, the CDC says.

Because of the center’s efforts, Crawford County’s unemployment rate has dropped from a peak of 7.5 percent in January 2016 to its current rate of 4.1 percent, according to the CDC.

The rates before the Tyson announcement in 2015 were as low as 3.3 percent. The current Iowa rate is 2.9 percent.

Denison is reported to be one of two non-metro area communities in Iowa that is growing in population since the year 2000.

Denison has grown by 14 percent.

“Even with this growth, employers in and around Crawford County continue to need new workers and new skills. The combination of Workforce efforts and population growth in Denison has created a unique success story for rural Iowa, but we hope our story is just beginning,” the CDC says.