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Many people have filed for unemployment at the Tonawanda office or looked for a job at the Williamsville or Blasdell Job Service. But if state officials are successful in their plans, people won't be able to do that much longer.

In September, the State Department of Labor announced a plan to consolidate hundreds of unemployment claims processing jobs. If this plan is approved, the only three call centers in the state would be located in New York City, Troy and possibly Binghamton. Western New York would be completely left out of the picture.

We need a call site here. It is important to have a local office where people can go if a problem arises with their unemployment. What about claimants who are deaf, non-English speaking or educationally deficient? They may need extra help in order to file successfully. The state shouldn't close these valuable offices.

Barb Brader Cheektowaga

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