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Corridor Shutdown Impact

WATERLOO, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- With the chance of a government shutdown looming, people in the Corridor are concerned about the impact it would have on local programs.

One of the biggest impacts the shutdown could have is on the Iowa National Guard. If there is no deal made by midnight, the Guard will have to furlough 1,100 people -- nearly half of its full-time staff, said Colonel Greg Hapgood.

Those employees could be people like Chief Warrant Officer Brandon Burroughs, who just got back from a deployment in Afghanistan. Now, he's taking off to perform search and rescue missions in the flooded areas of Colorado.

"We love being able to come back here stateside and help folks out when they need it," Burroughs said.

But if the government shuts down, Burroughs won't get as much training for the work he loves. On top of putting half its employees on furlough, the guard could also lose valuable training time during its busiest month: October.

"The shorter this lasts, the better it is for our readiness and our people," Hapgood said.

That statement hits home at airports all across the Corridor.

Dr. Tom Schnell works at the University of Iowa's Operator Performance Lab located at the Iowa City Municipal Airport. He said a shutdown could severaly limit funding for scientific research.

A shutdown wouldn't necessarily affect his lab, but Schnell said that other federally funded researchers, including those with the Department of Defense, could see their projects cancelled. Schnell said those researchers could move on to other careers, setting off a negative chain of events.

"Once that happens, we cannot get them back. The pipeline from high school to being able to run large projects can be as long as 12 to 15 years, and we need to treat our research community better than being strung along like a disposable commodity. We need more research and development and less nonsense," Schnell said.

 
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