News : State to Close Worcester Call Center for the Unemployed
Boston, May 5, 2014 -- The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development has decided to close its unemployment assistance call center in Worcester by June 30. The 25 to 30 jobs based there will be moved to four other call centers around the state.
Ann Dufresne, spokeswoman for the department, said today the Unemployment Insurance Teleclaim Center at 340 Main St. will close at the end of the state fiscal year as part of cost-saving at the Department of Unemployment Assistance.
She said the department will maintain some of its space, which the agency will use for benefit and claims hearings. The call centers take calls from workers around the state to secure and process unemployment benefits.
"We are consolidating space in our call centers and we are closing the Worcester call center, but we are not eliminating any staff," Ms. Dufresne said of the impact of the closing. She said employees currently working at the Worcester call center "can go to any of the other call centers" to continue in their jobs, including call centers in Brockton, Springfield, Boston and Lawrence.
She said the Worcester call center is the only one being closed at this time. That call center was set up more than two years ago to handle a surge of calls at the time of a federal unemployment benefit extension. She said it was chosen for closing in part because the state does not have a long-term lease.
Ms. Dufresne said another factor is an expected reduction in federal funding. She said when the economy is doing better, federal funding for unemployment operations is reduced.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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