Ladysmith Job Center closing soon

(WEAU) - The Ladysmith Job Center has been around for many years, but center leaders say it will close on June 30th.

Managers say the Hayward and Medford job centers will close as well, but will use nearby organizations to help the public find work.

The employment program says it’s part of a reorganization process needed to maintain a better budget.

"It’s been around for a long time, I can't even imagine that they're closing it," said Dawn Elmberg, who lives in Ladysmith.

Since 2005 Concentrated Employment Program, Incorporated has lost 33% of its federal funding. Now another 8% is expected in 2013, causing the three facilities to be shutdown.

"What we had to do is look at our 10 counties as a whole and strategically place where the best job center locations would be. We did have to look at other factors. For example, what type of rent we're paying in different buildings. How many visitors were getting," said Brad Gingras, Chief Operating Officer of CEP, Inc. in a phone interview.

But Desiree Churchwell says she's used the Ladysmith Center and just found a job at Backdoor Cafe.

"I've been a stay at home mother the last seven years and finally get out and have a job, being here in Ladysmith there's not a lot of job opportunities around," said Desiree Churchwell, who lives in Ladysmith.

Gingras says although the buildings will close, the centers will not be leaving entirely. He says the Ladysmith Center will use the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College as of July 1st.

"We’re all very excited about this. So very open-minded and they came to us with open arms and are happy to help."

But some center workers will be laid off.

"People to be out of jobs, that's kind of frightening, considering rusk county job rate,” said Elmberg.

"I think it will be a burden on a lot of us, because without them they help you find a job not being a very big community there's not a lot of jobs available and people are going to have to start moving," said Churchwell.

The organization says it will have employees at the WITC campus in Ladysmith.

It says it will cut 300 thousand dollars from its budget by closing.

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