Department of Labor & Industries to close Colville office

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TUMWATER Citing a steady decline in workload due to the poor economy in Northeast Washington, the Department of Labor & Industries announced today that it will close its service location in Colville. The closure takes effect May 27.

The Colville office is one of 20 service locations maintained by L&I, providing information and assistance to employers and workers on wage claims, permits, inspections, and other services administered by L&I. The agency has no plans to close any other field offices at this time.

"Unfortunately, fewer people are working in the local area," said L&I Director Judy Schurke. "This means fewer walk-in customers, requests for permits, and assistance with claim information." With more and more services offered online, we have an opportunity to redirect our resources where they can do the most good."

Services offered on the L&I website (www.Lni.wa.gov) include the ability to pay industrial insurance premiums, check on claims status, secure electrical permits and inspections, check on registered contractors, and receive information on employment standards and prevailing wage. In addition to the internet site, the agency maintains toll-free telephone lines for most of their services.

Honeychurch said the agency spends about $100,000 on operations to maintain the Colville office. The three employees affiliated with the office will work out of other offices.

The Colville office served Ferry, Pend Oreille, Stevens, and portions of Lincoln and Spokane Counties. The majority of business is located in Spokane County.

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For media information: Kelly Honeychurch, L&I, 509-324-2576 .

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