The Idaho Department of Labor plans to close its current office in Payette, but will still provide services in Payette and to the surrounding area, possibly in different locations.
Jani Revier, Labor Department Director, said the Department is reorganizing the way it serves Idahoans, including the way it provides access to rural residents..
“We are bringing the Department of Labor to the citizens of rural Idaho,” Revier said in a statement. “This is a new way to provide service, an Idaho way, that addressed the unique regional challenges that we face in our state. We want to provide more Idahoans top-notch service when they need it, where they need it or to help them get back to work and access the benefits they are entitled to.”
At the end of the transition, which will take several months, there will be six primary labor regional offices and five affiliate offices, Revier said. The primary Labor Department offices will be in Post Falls, Lewiston, Caldwell, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls, Affiliate offices will operate in Sandpoint, Orofino, Boise, Burley and Salmon, and all 11 offices will continue to offer walk-in services.
The other 14 officials will be decentralized with Department employees offering office hours and appointments in a variety of communities in reach region, Revier said, and for the Payette and Washington county area, that may include having office hours in New Plymouth and Weiser, as well as Payette in a different location, working with different partners.
The department does not own the building its Payette office it is in, she said, and Weiser and New Plymouth currently do not have offices.
The final details of the statewide model are still being worked out, she said, but the decentralized structure will offer more flexibility and does not reduce staff or any current services.
“The goal is to be more accessible to people,” Revier said.
“This new approach has us out where we’re needed, as opposed to sitting behind a desk and waiting for citizens to find us.” Idaho Labor Manager Dave Darrow said in a statement.
“We have more flexibility in working with employers and more time in front of the actual labor force making a difference.”