The state plans to close Turlock’s Employment Development Department office, but city officials aren’t letting it go without a fight.
Bill Youngdale, who owns the Broadway property where the EDD office has been for 34 years, told the Turlock City Council on Tuesday night that he doesn’t have official notice from the state, but he learned about the plan in another way: one of the employees asked to buy the refrigerator in the break room.
“This is going to work a real hardship on people,” said Youngdale, noting that those seeking employment help will have to travel to offices in Merced or Modesto. In addition to handling unemployment benefits, the EDD administers disability insurance and welfare-to-work programs.
“The staff is very disappointed,” Youngdale said. “They don’t want to leave.”
EDD spokesman Patrick Joyce confirmed the closure plan, saying in an email, “We are closing the Turlock office in response to declining state and federal funding. EDD is taking steps to streamline overhead and administrative services in order to maximize the delivery of employment services.”
Youngdale said he has been told he will get official notice Tuesday, with the staff leaving by Oct.15. Joyce confirmed the office will close by the middle of the month.
Closing the Turlock office will save an estimated $14,000 per month in lease and overhead costs, Joyce said. The 12 people who work there will be transferred to the Modesto office.
The Turlock staff served roughly 142 customers per month, Joyce said.
Turlock officials said they are going to try to convince Gov. Jerry Brown, whose office made the decision, to change his mind. The Turlock Chamber of Commerce also plans to protest the decision.
“We’re reaching out to our legislative offices,” City Manager Roy Wasden said. “We are going to make every effort we can to stop this very needed resource from leaving our community.”