When it was about to happen, and when it was just starting, the federal sequester made big news (here’s a list of the stories NCPR did on the potential impacts back in late February and early March.) We looked at how it would impact prisons, Head Start, Fort Drum (which has in fact furloughed about 1,800 workers), and our borders; and then, the sequester, to some degree, fell out of the news.
It happens — sort of a “story fatigue” sets in, for reporters and for “news consumers”, as people who keep up with current events are now called, and although the sequester has kept rolling forward we just haven’t been thinking about it as much as new stories and events roll in. But the sequester’s not over, as we see in a story from WWNY-TV this week on the 30 or so workers who’ve lost their jobs at the Dry Kiln Plant in the Lewis County village of Harrisville.
That plant’s just been sold, and while federal funding would ordinarily have been available to retrain those workers for other jobs, only 7 percent of that funding’s going to be there for these workers because the organization that provides the retraining, the Workforce Center, is — you guessed it! — federally funded. The executive director of that organization, Cheryl Mayforth, told WWNY that “this is where sequestration is hurting real, live people that need these services.”
It’s possible some of the workers will get retraining, in the fall: The center’s next round of funding comes through on October 1 and at that point it’s planning to offer it for those workers who haven’t yet found new jobs.