HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Three months into sequestration, Phoenix Manufacturing and the people it serves have begun to feel the tight squeeze of contract reductions and jobs lost. To date, 129 people with disabilities have lost their positions due to the automatic budget cuts enacted by Congress.
“We serve a vulnerable population,” said Phoenix CEO Bryan Dodson. “They tend to be at the bottom of the economic pyramid. These budget cuts are impacting people with disabilities who want to live independently, without relying on public assistance programs.”
The 129 jobs lost come from Phoenix’s contracts with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC), based in Natick, Mass., and contracts on Redstone Arsenal. The NSSC contract is to sew 15,000 single-point release parachute harnesses. Phoenix’s long-standing agreements with Redstone include providing custodial services, grounds maintenance, administrative support and security reception.
“Sequestration has put our partners in a tough situation,“ Dodson said. “The cuts they have to make means we have no choice but to reduce our work force. We’ve tried to do so through attrition, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to ensure that no jobs would be lost.“
In 2012, Phoenix served more than 1,200 people with disabilities. More than 700 of them worked on Phoenix contracts.