DES MOINES — Things could be changing in the labor force as we head through spring into summer.

Iowa Workforce Development executive director Beth Townsend says there’ll be some impact as college students graduate. “We have 61,000 open jobs, so we’ve got a lot of really great jobs to pull from or take advantage us so hopefully we’ll see more people enter into the workforce as we get closer to graduation,” she says.

The pork plant in Perry will be closing as summer starts. “The layoffs are not supposed to start until the end of June. So, you know, assuming that some of the lines close in June, it probably will be July or August before we can ascertain how many folks had lined up employment, you know, and went right into another job and how many needed some additional time to find work,” she says.

Townsend says they hope many of the employees find work they can transition to after the plant closes. “We don’t typically see every single person who gets laid off on unemployment because they’ve, you know, found other jobs,” she says. “We know there are employers out there recruiting them. There was a job fair, the first week in April. We plan to have multiple job fairs in May and June as we get closer to people actually being ready to look for work.”

Townsend says they will continue to be focused on helping the Perry workers through the plant shutdown.