Fewer services for the unemployed in SC, sequester talks fail

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Critics question whether members of congress should keep their jobs in the fallout from the federal sequester. Some of those hit hardest if government services are cut will be people who are already unemployed.

Out of work off and on for almost a year.

Donald McCain said, "Its very frustrating."

He relies on the free services from SC Works to help polish his skills while looking for a job.

"If they do the budget cuts and they take away stuff, I won't be able to come in here and use the computers. I don't have internet at home so I have to come here to use the internet to search for a job. If they take those away from us, I'll never get a job," said McCain.

In the last jobs report from December, there were more than 23 thousand people unemployed in the Charleston, North Charleston and Summerville area. SC Works helps to match those job seekers with employers.

James Wood, Workforce Development Director of SC Works said, "We try to work with job seekers on identifying their skills, previous work experiences and education levels so that we could match those up with current openings that we have in our region."

McCain said, "They supply me computers, they supply us with referrals to jobs, they actually take time out to show us how to build a resume."

Employment training programs in the state could be cut by half a million dollars. That means nearly 19 thousand fewer people will have access to help and skills needed for job hunting.

"If they do budget cuts, that means staff cuts. That means we can't get in here to use the computers when we want to. They'll cut down the hours and times of people working here. We won't have great help like we got inside," said McCain.

SC Works collaborates with many partners who help with jobs and training. The budget cut could affect each program differently whether its fewer employees or supplies.

Wood said, "We're going to try to continue to do that the best of our ability going forward. We're continuing all of our aspects, all of our phases and all of our training programs are still in effect. We're not stopping what we're doing."

No matter what happens with the sequester cuts. SC Works online services will be available to job hunters.

Budget cuts will be gradually phased in over the next 7 months.

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