Center offers help for job seekers in Lake Co., Ill.

February 1, 2013 3:42:28 PM PST
In Lake County, Illinois, five companies have cut hundreds of jobs in the last six months.

The news is mixed for job seekers.

Unemployment in Lake County is down from a year ago and more jobs are being added but recent news can be discouraging for those looking for work.

This week 650 employees in suburban McGaw Park were told their jobs are being eliminated. Surgical kits production at Cardinal Health will move out of state along with those positions.

It comes after a series of other big layoffs announcements in Lake County.

The YMCA in Waukegan laid off 130 employees.

In Gurnee the Lake County News Sun laid off 35.

In Highland Park, Saks Fifth Avenue laid off 60.

In August 2012 Motorola Mobility in Libertyville laid of more than 600 workers.

Just over the border in Burlington, Wisconsin, the Echo Lake Food facility burned down Wednesday impacting 300 workers and an unknown number of workers at surrounding businesses.

The Lake County Workforce Development Department said they are seeing shorter job search times as well as on going layoffs.

"You do see it slowly improving as a whole," the department's Jennifer Serino-Stasch said. "And then you do see where you do have these mass layoffs that impacted immediately."

Andre Ray applied for a new job Friday but news of more big layoffs hit him hard.

"It hurts," Ray said. "It hurts bad because you have a lot of people out here trying."

Staff at the center encourages clients and prepares them for when opportunity knocks.

June Davis updated her resume and did mock interviews.. And last week she was offered a job.

"Don't give up there's still hope out there. There's still hope," she said.

The Lake County Workforce Development Department offers many free services and even tuition help.

According to counselors, those who have been at a job for many years or those who have been out of work for a long time need new skills, usually computer skills.

For instance, the Illinois Department of Employment and Security now takes unemployment applications online but some applying need help doing that online application.

For job seekers outside of Lake County, a workforce development center in your area can help.