Social & Education Policy

Wage and Benefit Standards An Analysis of Proposed Changes in the Iowa Values Fund

Ralston, C.; Gordon, C.


This report evaluates IDED’s proposed changes in job qualification standards and specifically addresses the first two of IDED’s goals. The first goal of clarifying and simplifying the eligibility process is evaluated solely as it relates to the benefit calculation and wage requirement. In that sense, this goal is achieved; the change from benefit value to benefit credit adds transparency and consistency throughout IDED’s programs. The change also will likely yield a slight increase in the actual wage, if current projects are representative of future applications. IDED’s rationale for targeting manufacturing is not articulated in the proposal. It is unclear without sectoral data whether IDED’s second goal of attracting manufacturing to cities and metropolitan areas will be successful; moreover, the method IDED proposes to achieve this goal is overly broad and does not specifically target manufacturing. The IDED proposal achieves the overarching goal of streamlining the program’s administration; however, further steps are required to achieve the broader goal of targeted economic development and improved job quality in Iowa.