DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have confirmed that the state has stopped servicing or tracking the more than 700 self-help computer kiosks installed to replace dozens of unemployment offices closed in 2011 as a money-saving effort.
Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Courtney Greene told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/2ktMKTt ) that it’s unknown how many kiosks in the virtual access points program are still dedicated to helping the unemployed. Initially the kiosks were placed in public places such as libraries and homeless shelters.
Greene says improved technology that lets Iowans file for weekly unemployment claims by smartphone has made the kiosks less essential. She says the kiosk system was discontinued as part of the department’s efficiency efforts. It’s unclear when the department ended the program.