SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –Already stretched thin, Springfield Futureworks Executive Director Rexene Picard thinks that if the sequester does happen on March 1st, they might face more budget cuts. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of places we can cut, so we would have to review services, review space, all of those things,” she said.
However, just days away from sequestration, Picard still isn’t quite sure how much sequestration might affect the federally funded career center, but they’re watching it closely. “We’re focusing on education. Making sure the legislators know the volume, and the success of the work we’re doing. We work with both employers and jobs seekers, and certainly in this economy, in these times, but definitely when you look at the number of folks coming through our door, last year it was over 16,000 individuals, this year it’s going to be higher.”
Futureworks jobseekers say have a hard enough time finding employment, and if these cuts kick in, things could get even tougher. “It’s hard out here now. It’s 2013, I’m hoping something improves, something cracks,” Clem Sanders shared. “I’ve been actually searching now, for I would say, approximately 3 years. Ever since the recession hit it’s been hard times, but I use the center as a means to access the computer,” Wayne Ratcliff stated. “It’s very important, because since I moved from Florida, I spent all my money to travel here, trying to start again with my life and family, and it’s so hard,” said Gabriel Roman.
However, there is an upside. Picard says the sequester could very well mean Futureworks would get the same as they did last year.