New Hiring Initiative to Help Furloughed Arsenal Workers - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New Hiring Initiative to Help Furloughed Arsenal Workers

Updated: July 30, 2013 10:15 PM

Six thousand Department of Defense civilians who work at Rock Island Arsenal are dealing with pay cuts, thanks to unpaid furlough days now in effect. But, there may be some relief in sight.

One day a week since the beginning of July, these workers have had to take unpaid days off the job because of federal budget cuts. Now, though, there may be fewer furlough days than originally planned.

Pentagon officials say civilian workers may only need to take six to eight unpaid days off - instead of 11 - to meet federal budget reduction goals.

But, while that's a little better, many Arsenal workers will still be feeling a big pinch in their wallets.

So, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is launching a new initiative, called "Support Those Who Support Our Troops" to help cover the pay gaps.

"We've reached out to local staffing agencies and to our business community to see what sort of temporary, part-time needs they may have that can be filled by furloughed workers," Jillian McClearly, communications director for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, explained.

Several employers and agencies have already signed on.

Among them: Chenhall Staffing Services in Davenport.

"Getting them into positions that utilize their skills is imperative. So we ask our business community - evaluate. Could you use an extra set of hands to get you caught up right now?" Kelly Wainwright, Vice President of Chenhall Staffing Services Inc., said.

"This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of a highly skilled work force," she said.

"This is the type of skilled workers that our business community always tells us that they need, and this is a great opportunity for both sides to have a need filled," McClearly agreed.

"Everything from administrative though engineering, I.T. - we've got it covered on the Island," Wainwright said.

Many Chenhall clients have already identified some jobs they need filled,and more responses are still coming in.

"We pray that by showing our support, we're able to show just how important and how valuable we feel the Arsenal is to the Quad City community," Wainwright said.

But, the job matching that's been done so far is just a start. More area businesses and staffing agencies will need to step up and help.

Businesses are being asked to visit starting this Thursday, August 1, to post any job opportunities they have that can be filled by furloughed Arsenal workers.

Arsenal workers can go to that website to review all of the job openings.


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