Centerville event to provide resources for furloughed workers

wcrenshaw@macon.comJune 7, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- After a community meeting this year to discuss the effect of federal budget cuts, some attendees got together and decided they wanted to do something to help furloughed employees.

As a result, June 15 at the Houston County Galleria mall in Centerville, a free event will be held that is expected to feature a wide range of organizations and professionals, including financial planners, banks, mental health counselors and others. It’s open to anyone, not just furloughed federal employees, which include about 15,000 at Robins Air Force Base.

The event is called S.H.A.R.E., which stands for Sharing, Help and Assistance Resources for Everyone.

The event is being put together by the 21st Century Partnership, which works to support Robins Air Force Base, the United Way of Central Georgia and the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce. Chrissy Miner, chief operations officer for the partnership, said anyone in a speciality who may be able to help, or other businesses, is invited to participate.

Banks will be available to speak with customers who are expecting to have trouble making a mortgage payment and discuss what kind of leeway they may be able to get. Flint Energies will be there to talk with people who may have trouble making their utility payment.

About 15,000 Robins civilians are being furloughed for 11 days as a result of automatic federal spending cuts. The furloughs start July 8 and run through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Notices, which have to be given 30 days in advance, went out May 28. Employees will be furloughed one day per week. The 21st Century Partnership estimates it means a loss of $50 million in pay, or 20 percent of each employee’s pay during the furlough period.

Base spokesman David Donato said in an email that furloughs went out to about 99 percent of the civilians on base. The only exceptions were the foreign sales staff and a small number of others.

The Department of Defense originally announced employees would be furloughed for 22 days, but that was later reduced.

The S.H.A.R.E. event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone interested in participating may call the 21st Century Partnership at 225-9005 or email sharemiddlega@gmail.com.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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