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Goodwill loses 80 workers to furlough, Air Force Academy affected

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Oct 03 2013 11:45:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 04 2013 12:10:56 AM CDT

Adding to the frustration at the Air Force Academy, they almost ran out of toilet paper. That's because the custodial staff that orders it is on furlough.

Discover Goodwill in Colorado Springs has 200 contracted workers through the Air Force. Nearly one hundred of them are on furlough. That means the bathrooms, gym, you name it, aren't getting cleaned as often as they should be.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The Air Force Academy lost two-thirds of its civilian workforce. That’s 1,000 employees. 60 courses are now suspended. Flight operations for cadets have also stopped.

Adding to the frustration at the Air Force Academy, they almost ran out of toilet paper. That's because the custodial staff that orders it is on furlough.

Discover Goodwill in Colorado Springs has 200 contracted workers through the Air Force. Nearly one hundred of them are on furlough. That means the bathrooms, gym, you name it, aren't getting cleaned as often as they should be.

Toilet paper - it's a luxury we don't want to live without.

"We're not always aware at a really high level of who has the contract for the toilet paper,” said Air Force Academy spokeswoman Lt. Michelle Johnson.

Turns out, Discover Goodwill in southern and western Colorado hires the custodians that service the air force academy.

"There are important things to run operations that you really count on people,” said Lt. Johnson.

However, it's more than a problem for cadets. With 80 of those workers furloughed, stocking the stalls doesn't seem like that big of a priority.

"They have their own families and their own circumstances to deal with,” said Brad Hafer, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for Discover Goodwill in Southern & Western Colorado.

That includes using vacation time during the shutdown and possibly losing a paycheck.

"Their lives have been effectively disrupted by this. There's no way around it,” said Hafer.

There’s no way around the Academy's dilemma as toilet paper becomes a serious priority along with nine other categories including health and security.

"It's unfortunate that there's a bureaucratic term for our colleagues of nonessential because it couldn't be more wrong,” said Johnson.

All because its colleague Goodwill, a non-profit, still struggles to keep its goal.

"Defeats the purpose of what why we're there, working to bring people into employment rather than out,” said Hafer.

"We're in day three and let's hope we don't have too many days more,” said Lt. Johnson.

Here's another reason those 80 employees are having an impact at the Academy: they are responsible for cleaning 100 facilities there.

If you've been furloughed, head to http://connectingcolorado.com/ for more information to help you. 

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