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updated: 1/31/2014 3:26 PM

State to close Grayslake unemployment office

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  • Plans are in the works to close the Illinois Department of Employment Services office on the campus of College of Lake County in Grayslake.

       Plans are in the works to close the Illinois Department of Employment Services office on the campus of College of Lake County in Grayslake.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Marty Hobe
mhobe@dailyherald.com

The state is closing the Grayslake unemployment office, plans to discontinue at least some services at one in Lombard and is considering closing or consolidating similar offices in Elgin and North Aurora.

It's part of an effort to move unemployment services online, which started in 2006 but picked up momentum this past summer, Illinois Department of Employment Security spokesman Greg Rivara said.

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Rivara said people looking for temporary unemployment insurance benefits at one of the state's offices tend to be directed to a computer to fill out forms, anyway.

"It's more cost effective and easier to distribute unemployment through the Internet and on the phone," Rivara said.

However, he said employment services, such as counseling to help individuals find jobs, will continue to be face-to-face.

The Grayslake office does not yet have a closing date, but Rivara said the employment services workers will be transferred to Waukegan, where that help will still be available.

Rivara said other employees in the Grayslake office will be transferred, not laid off. But it is not clear where they'll go.

"We're investing in people, not buildings," Rivara said.

The state's office in Lombard eventually is going to lose its employment services to the Lisle office, Rivara said. He is not yet sure what will happen with the unemployment benefits services in the Lombard office.

Two other offices are being considered for possible closure or consolidation.

In North Aurora, the office lease will expire in the coming months the state is considering not renewing it.

In Elgin, staff members who help with job training programs through the federal Workforce Investment Act are planning to leave the office there, and Rivara said the state is considering whether to consolidate the remaining services.

Rivara said more than 30 offices have closed or consolidated in the last three years, and further closings are possible.

For more information on office closings, unemployment insurance and job training services, visit the department website at www.ides.illinois.gov

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