Galesburg Mayor looking to maintain some services after IDES office closes

By Audrey Williams

February 4, 2013 Updated Feb 4, 2013 at 11:41 PM CDT

GALESBURG, Ill -- Illinois Department of Employment Security office in Galesburg is set to close March 1. Now, the Galesburg mayor is looking at creative options to maintain some level of IDES service there.

Mayor Sal Garza says the closure will mean those seeking unemployment and job search assistance would have to travel to the Peoria or Quad Cities' offices.

He hopes the city and the IDES director can find a way to keep a satellite presence in Galesburg several days a week to help the most challenged applicants.

"We have applicants that may not be able to read or write, or they're challenged by transportation. We have people coming from the Macomb area that get on the Amtrak, come to Galesburg, and come to the office here. That won't be possible in either the Peoria or Quad City area," said Mayor Garza.

Justin Hillman came from Macomb Monday for help with employment. He said of the closure, "You come up here they give you what you need basically and that stuff that you can't do over the phone. I wouldn't be able to get a job around here and there's a lot of people that depend on this place."

Mayor Garza is set to meet with the IDES director again this Friday.

Due to cuts in federal funding IDES has already closed 10 offices and consolidated 10 more.

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