Job Service to Close June 30
Representatives for the Montana Department of Labor & Industry confirmed Monday that the Job Service Glasgow office will be closing its doors due to lack of funding. The decision will take effect on June 30.
Communications Director Jake Troyer told the Courier that the main cause of the cuts is a combination of significant reductions in federal workforce development funding since 2002 and restricted authorization from the Montana legislature to use existing agency funding to address budget shortfalls over the next biennium.
Mayor Becky Erickson expressed frustration about the closure: “Closing the Glasgow Job Service Office would be detrimental to our community in many ways, the loss of the jobs for staff, the loss of daily services for job seekers and/or employers, and having no rapid response team in place to immediately address local business closures and many other needed services.”
Erickson continued, “I am saddened and also concerned by the lack of transparency. When I contacted the Department of Labor this week, they stated that they were planning to release a press statement on the closing of the Glasgow Office sometime this week, which just coincides with closure of the 2017 Legislature.”
She described the agency’s timeline as, “leaving little or no time in which our residents had the opportunity to contact their elected legislators on this important community decision.”
Workforce Services Division Administrator Scott Eyechner described the closure as “a done deal” via telephone on April 24. He went on to say, “We understand the perception that this decision was backloaded.”
According to Commissioner Pam Bucy, “Closing these offices has not been taken lightly and came after deliberate and serious thought about how local workers and businesses would be impacted.”
In response to questions about services for area residents, Troyer added the following via email at press time: “Services offered through these offices, such as assistance with unemployment insurance, job seeker tools, and occupational training opportunities will continue to be provided through the statewide network of Job Service Montana offices and online at the Montana Department of Labor & Industry website (dli.mt.gov) and MontanaWorks.gov.”