Last week, Tobyhanna Army Depot in Monroe County announced that $309 million of budget cuts resulting from the federal budget sequestration will mean that 5,136 civilian employees will be furloughed.
According to an article on the RepublicanHerald.com, the details of the furlough are still being worked out, but employees will be required to take 22 non-consecutive furlough days between late April and Sept. 30 unless Washington is able to resolve the federal budget impasse.
Despite the news, depot spokeswoman Jacqueline Boucher is quoted in the article as saying, “Everyone is concerned. But everyone is resolved to continue to support the warfighter.”
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the U.S. military’s primary facility for the repair and maintenance of communications and electronics equipment. It is a major component of the region’s economy, ranking as one of the largest employers in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, and Pike counties.
There is concern on the furlough’s impact on the local economy, as well. Teri Ooms, executive director for the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development said in the article, “These families are living in a time when prices of the basic necessities have climbed and now they are hit with a large loss of income. Beyond those households, this will have a ripple effect — direct and induced economic impacts — as people making less spend less on everything from retain, to services and entertainment.”