WESTERN NEW YORK — The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is Niagara County's biggest employer, but 425 workers are out of work right now, taking furlough days during the government shutdown.
"Furlough days are unpaid status. So yes. We're being laid off temporarily while the Federal Government awaits its continuing resolution for funding," said Col. Richard Goldenberg, the New York National Guard PIO.
That includes 275 civilian workers with the 914 Airlift Wing, and about 150 with the 107th. Traditional National Guard members are still working, but their normally-scheduled training activities are being put on hold. Full-time members, most on active duty, are still working and will be paid. The civilian workers on furlough, however, likely won't see any money from their time off.
"There is no guarantee that their back pay will be restored after Congress comes to a continuing resolution," said Goldenberg.
In Buffalo, another major employer is waiting to see what the shutdown means. Roswell Park waits for the National Cancer Institute to review its new projects. The shutdown means that process is put on hold.
"A grant that might have been reviewed tomorrow, approved and funded in three months to bring a new trial into action at Roswell Park or any other cancer center is gonna be delayed," said Roswell Park Cancer Institute president and CEO Donald Trump.
Current clinical trials are less likely to be impacted, but Trump says the longer it goes on, the bigger the impact will be. Thirty-three million dollars of research done at Roswell Park comes from federal grants, and some of that money pays employees.
"It's conceivable those employees might have to be furloughed. We would certainly try to maintain the employment of those folks from Institute resources, but we don't have lots of disposable income to make up for the dysfunction on a national level," said Trump.
Trump says it's hard to quantify the effects of the shutdown, because at this point no one knows how long it will last. He does say if it goes past two weeks, the impact will be noticeable.