(February 20, 2013)--Automatic across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect on March 1 unless a deal can be reached on Capitol Hill would be felt in the Fort Hood area and across Central Texas.
If Congress does not pass or extend the budget, many of the civilian DOD employees in the area could lose their jobs, be furloughed without pay or forced to cut back their hours.
"You take that many days of unpaid civilian salary, that's going to have an impact on the local economy," said retired Lt. Gen. Pete Taylor of Heart of Texas Defense Alliance.
At a Garrison Town Hall meeting last week on post, workers learned that the cuts started in October 2012.
So far 60 jobs have been shed, but Fort Hood still needs to cut another 120 by September.
Workforce Solutions of Central Texas says a few Fort Hood civilian employees have stopped by to check out resources.
The agency says now is a good time for civilian employees to prepare for the worst.
"Think of the activities they did in those jobs, and you can use that to try to find other jobs you might be interested in or qualified for," said Wendy Ann Damon, career center supervisor.
The Department of Defense says that if furloughs take place, all affected employees will be notified at least 30 days in advance.