Opening ceremonies wer held Friday for two D.C. Department of Employment Services neighborhood job service centers at 1319 H St. NE and 1000 U St. NW. City officials say the centers will make it possible for residents to receive the full range of employment services at one location nearer their homes instead of having to travel downtown or around the city for the services. They also expect the centers to provide faster service and eliminate long lines at central locations for some services.

The decentralized job service centers will provide unemployment insurance, testing, CETA placement, assessment and counseling services.

As part of Mayor Marion Barry's reorganization of the former D.C. Department of Labor into the Department of Employment Services, plans are under way to provide all services in six decentralized locations. One neighborhood job service center, at 8th and Xenia streets SE, reopened in October, and two more centers are scheduled to open soon at 1217 Good Hope Rd. SE and 950 Upshur St. NW. A sixth center location is being selected in the far Northeast area near Minesota Avenue and Benning Road.

After all six centers open, centers at 3308 14th St. NW and 50th and Hayes streets NE will close. A facility at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE will continue to be used for the Work Incentive Program, and headquarters for the agency will continue to be located at 500 C St. NW. Administration, youth programs and other special employment and training assistance will continue to be provided from that location and from offices at 605 G St. NW.

For the time being, persons who want to file or inquire about unemployment compensation claims should continue to report to 500 C St. NW. uA new system is being installed and is expected to become fully operational soon. Under the new syste, persons eligible for compensation will not have to report in person periodically but will be able to carry out all requirements by mail following their initial filing.