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Lombard employment security office to become call center

LOMBARD – The Lombard office of the Illinois Department of Employment Security is slated to become a full-time call center later this year, one of several moves being made by the department to consolidate services as the economy continues to rebound.

The IDES unemployment/job center office, located at 837 S. Westmore Ave. in Lombard will move its employment services to its Lisle office, while unemployment services will only be offered online or by placing a phone call, IDES spokesman Greg Rivara said. As job creation has picked up during the past three years, federal funding has declined, Rivara said.

"As funding goes down, we need to cut costs," he said. "Part of that is delivering employment services face-to-face and unemployment services via telephone and the Internet."

While in-person service is needed for employment-related needs where individual location, work history and skillsets are unique, the process for all unemployment claims is the same, Rivara said. IDES has offered the option of filing Internet claims for unemployment services since 2006, and in the past year, paper claims declined from 50 percent to 10 percent as the department makes a concerted effort to further steer people to its website.

"We want you to use the Internet," Rivara said.

The Lombard office currently offers both services, along with a data analysis department. The office also has an existing call center. By summer, the office will be exclusively a call center, Rivara said.

IDES also is closing its Grayslake office and moving services to Waukegan. Rivera said the consolidation effort will allow the department to invest more taxpayer money into "people rather than buildings."

In the past, an individual was assigned to an office and would go there for all their services, but the reliability of the Internet has changed the way the department is run, Rivara said.

The Lombard office will bring in more call center representatives, but the impact should be minimal for the community, he said.

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