Quad Cities Chamber Launches Program to Support Furloughed Workers, Support Those Who Support Our Troops

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Through the new program, the Chamber is calling on local businesses to consider what hiring needs they have that can be filled on a temporary, part-time basis by furloughed Department of Defense civilian workers.

Area businesses want to help in these challenging times and reinforce the message that the Quad Cities is a military friendly community.

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce announced that they are introducing a new program called Support Those Who Support Our Troops. Through the new program, the Chamber is calling on local businesses to consider what hiring needs they have that can be filled on a temporary, part-time basis by furloughed Department of Defense civilian workers.

Approximately 6,000 Department of Defense civilian employees on the Rock Island Arsenal are furloughed as a result of sequestration. Under the furlough, workers will see a 20% reduction in pay through September 30, which is the end of the federal government’s fiscal year. That adds up to an average pay cut of $3,000 and an $18 million loss for the Quad Cities’ economy.

“Furloughs will impact not just the individuals and families who work at the Rock Island Arsenal, but ultimately, the entire Quad Cities community and our local economy,” says Paul Rumler, Executive Vice President, Quad Cities Chamber. “Area businesses want to help in these challenging times and reinforce the message that the Quad Cities is a military friendly community.”

Rumler says that the Chamber has made initial contact with staffing agencies, asking them to support the initiative. Within the first hour, six staffing agencies had agreed to begin reaching out to their clients.

This isn’t the first example of Quad Cities businesses stepping forward to support the local military community as sequestration continues to have an impact across the country. The Quad Cities Chamber launched Hooah! Quad Cities, its military awareness and appreciation campaign in 2012, and through this, operates a veteran hiring initiative known as We Hire Vets. The program encourages employers to consider veterans to fill employment needs; fifty companies throughout the region support this effort. Earlier this year, the Quad Cities was recognized as a Top 50 Military Friendly Community by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine.

The Rock Island Arsenal has a $1 billion economic impact on the Quad Cities’ economy and employs approximately 8,000 people.

For more information, visit HooahQuadCities.com.

About the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce:
The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization serving the eastern Iowa and western Illinois region, representing nearly 2,000 member businesses. The Chamber provides business and economic development services that build upon its mission to strengthen and enhance the business environment, represent the interests of its members, and foster balanced growth in the Quad Cities region.

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Jillian McCleary
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