Shutdown threatens Oregon’s unemployed

Shutdown threatens Oregon’s unemployed

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by Joe Smith, KGW business reporter

kgw.com

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 3 at 8:23 PM

PORTLAND -- Being unemployed in Oregon might get a little harder thanks to the federal government shutdown.

Worksource Oregon is an agency that helps people find work. It’s operated by the Oregon Employment Department. But as the federal shutdown stretches on, Worksource is starting to feel the pinch.

The agency’s clients must provide their social security numbers on a government website to register for the program. But the site is down due to federal closures.

Furthermore, the agency’s funding comes from a $10 million pot of state, federal and grant money. That funding balance could come undone if D.C. doesn’t reopen for business soon.

Patrick Gihring is the Director of Adult Workforce Services for Worksystems Inc., an affiliated non-profit agency.

“In public work, the relationship between different funding streams, different federal, state and local agencies, is like a private sector supply chain,” Gihring said. “If there’s a piece that goes down, it's going to have effects on being able to serve customers.”

The more time that goes by, the closer Worksource gets to running out of money. The agency has about 30 days of funding left.

But for right now, the doors remain open and it's business as usual.

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