Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell: Stop Freeport Unemployment Office Closure
  • Petitioned Jay Rowell

This petition was delivered to:

Director, Illinois Department of Employment Security
Jay Rowell
Communications Director, Illinois Department of Employment Security
Greg Rivara
President of the United States
Illinois State Senate
Illinois State House
Rep. Bill Foster
Rep. Cheri Bustos
Sen. Dick Durbin
Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell: Stop Freeport Unemployment Office Closure

    1. Jason Carson Wilson
    2. Petition by

      Jason Carson Wilson

      Chicago, IL

Unemployment already challenges jobless residents in Stephenson and Jo Daviess counties. Losing jobs have led to lost homes, lost cars and, in some cases, lost dignity. Losing the Freeport, Ill. Department of Employment Security office presents yet another challenge to these unemployed citizens. It's a challenge they don't deserve.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Jessica Lynch VILLA PARK, IL
      • over 1 year ago

      Unemployment is too difficult, confusing, and necessary to justify making services unavailable.

    • Arline Herrmann FREEPORT, IL
      • almost 2 years ago

      With so many unemployed in Freeport I am concerned about those poor people getting somewhere to sign up for their unemployment checks, which is all they will have to live on.

    • Andrea Montgomery FREEPORT, IL
      • almost 2 years ago

      Freeport has just lost 170 jobs and now these people who have expenses must drive to Rockford or Sterling - with gas so high, it is a heavy burden for them to do so. Freeport needs to keep the office - it services many people throughout the rural areas of Stephenson and Jo Daviess counties and it would be a hardship to send them 40 miles away.

    • Louise Roebuck Cook FREEPORT, IL
      • almost 2 years ago

      I work in child protection. Parents w/o jobs (or assistance in finding them) are more likely to abuse/neglect their children

    • Dennis Neary FREEPORT, IL
      • almost 2 years ago

      I would like to voice my displeasure at the decision to close the Freeport IDES office. This office provides a valuable service to the hardest hit in my community. There seem to be three prevailing arguments for closing the Freeport office: Cost savings, low foot traffic/higher on-line utilization of services, and little demand for services on the part of local employers. Let us address these issues one at a time.

      Cost savings - Because no full-time staff is being eliminated, the only cost savings are those involved with the lease of the office space. Mayor George Gaulrapp has made it clear, on several occasions, that municipal office space can be provided at no cost to the state. This availability of free office space will provide the same cost savings as would a move to another existing IDES office.

      Low foot traffic/higher on-line utilization - In many respects, this is a very misleading statistic. Foot traffic is down in 2012 vs. 2011 because the number of first time claimants is down. The job market pretty much bottomed out last year. Employers are at the point where they can no longer afford to downsize. While it is true that more people are utilizing the internet to conduct their IDES related business, in a way, they are the fortunate ones. The computer literate among the unemployed will likely find it easier to find employment as the economic outlook brightens. But what of those who lack the requisite computer skills or ready access to a computer. Those folks are the most in need of the services of a LOCAL employment services office.

      Little demand for services on the part of local employers - There is also little demand for caskets on the part of the dead. While the IDES office does provide an important benefit for helping local employers find qualified employees, the primary role of the employment services office is to help the local unemployed find gainful employment where their skills are in demand. A survey of employers as to the usefulness of the Freeport IDES is, quite frankly, looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

      I believe that I have addressed all the underlying rationales for closing the Freeport office and have shown them to be baseless. I have not even mentioned all the other services that the office provides to local residents, like; GED services, Veterans assistance, assisting cross-border employees from Wisconsin, a caring smile and a shoulder to cry on.

      In short, it would be a grievous error to close an office as consistently praised as the Freeport IDES office. This office is often held up as the most efficient office in the system. It would be a waste to relocate the office and its personnel elsewhere.


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