Mobridge Dept. of Labor office to close

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by Katie Zerr

Mobridge area residents will have to travel to Aberdeen for services provided by the South Dakota Department of Labor as the state will close the Mobridge office as of July 21.
According to Mike Ryan, director of employment services for the South Dakota Department of Labor, there are a number of reasons the Mobridge office will be closing, including losing the staff at the office.
Marge Metz, the longtime manager of the Department of Labor and Regulation office in Mobridge, will be retiring June 8, after 35 years of working for the state. Ryan said her retirement and budget cuts, were the factors in deciding to close the Mobridge office. Diane Simon, who also works in the Mobridge office, is transferring to Pierre.
“The Department of Social Services  (DSS) will now provide the TANF ( Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) in Mobridge,” he said.  “With the combination of losing our key people providing these services in Mobridge and declining federal funding, this was an opportunity for us to get out of some overhead. It allows us to save on those costs of having to house an office in Mobridge.”
He said the same service available at the Mobridge office will be provided by staff from the Aberdeen office, who will travel to Mobridge. The job area listings will be available online as they are now.
He said this has been a part of the department discussion for about three years, and the TANF services moving to the DSS was the wildcard that made the decision right at this time.
“There will be staff from Aberdeen in Mobridge this week to work with area employers on the job listings and to assess the needs of the community,” Ryan said. “The staff will travel from Aberdeen to provide the needed services.”
He said the community will be notified as to the time and place the Aberdeen staff will be in Mobridge and that the same services provided in Mobridge will be provided with the satellite services from Aberdeen. He said a plan to provide needed GED services, which are now contracted services, is in the works.
There will be an open house in honor of Mertz’s retirement on Friday, June 8, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Mobridge office.

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