The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 19, 2013

Danville unemployment office closes

Staff Report
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — Monday marked the transition by the Illinois Department of Employment Security of its Danville office into an employment-focused operation.

It continues to share space at 407 N. Franklin St. with the Danville Workforce Development Center, the IDES said in a press release.

The decision reflects IDES’ transition to provide employment services in a face-to-face setting and provide unemployment insurance services through telephone call centers and the Internet.

IDES is federally funded and among the last states to embrace this more cost-efficient model. Federal rules and best practices call for employment services to be delivered in-person to accommodate the unique nature of an individual’s job search and reflect a local workforce’s specific needs. Transitioning unemployment insurance services to the internet and telephone allows processing centers to review applications more quickly and cost effectively. Applications are the same across the state and are unaffected by unique employment history, work skills or location, according to the IDES.

IDES employment services will continue to concentrate on jobseekers, Veterans and employers. Jobseekers can receive assistance with interview skills and resume review. Veterans can obtain assistance transitioning into the civilian workforce.

Questions about an unemployment insurance application should be directed to (800) 244-5631. If call volumes near capacity, callers will be asked to leave their name and telephone number so they can receive a return call, rather than wait on hold. Average hold times of 10 minutes will fall as call centers expand using existing IDES resources. Applications can be made at http://www.ides.illinois.gov.

Individuals are not required to apply for unemployment insurance at an office.

Several criteria are considered when transitioning an office, especially lease status. The Franklin Street lease recently ended and an extension included the ability for IDES to completely leave or keep some staff with the Danville Workforce Development Center, which also is largely federally funded.

Funding levels are based on claimant demand, not the unemployment rate. Today, there are approximately 191,400 individuals collecting unemployment insurance; in November 2009 it was about 425,900. Although this transition will not result in any IDES layoffs, the Department has approximately 600 fewer employees than it did in 2009, according to the IDES.

Internet applications began as a pilot program in 2006. Today, nearly 90 percent of applications are made through the internet or telephone.