Furloughed Federal Workers Get Help from Associations

Associations around the spectrum are encouraging their members to offer aid to furloughed federal employees—as are some event venues.

The partial federal shutdown—now a full month in—may be providing furloughed employees a lot of heartache, but associations are doing their part to offer a reprieve to these workers, who often play a central role in the way they operate.

It’s part of a broader effort that has also seen private businesses offering services to federal workers who are struggling to make ends meet while their paycheck remains in limbo. Among the ways that associations, facilities, and others are helping out:

National Rental Home Council. This trade group, which represents large-scale owners of single-family rental homes, has convinced many of its members to defer rent payments and waive late fees for federal employees. “Going without a paycheck for nearly a month can be an incredibly stressful experience for American working families,” NRHC President Kevin Baldridge said in a news release. “We are deeply committed to helping all of our residents impacted by the government shutdown.”

National Conference Center. The meeting facility, located in Virginia’s Loudoun County, is offering free meals to the furloughed federal employees who might be affected by the shutdown—something it started January 15 and expects to continue as long as the shutdown keeps going. In a statement to the Loudoun Times, the facility’s vice president and general manager, Geoff Lawson, emphasized that it was payback of sorts for the support federal employees have offered the facility over the years. “The National Conference Center is honored to count federal agencies and organizations among our top clients for the past 40 years, and we feel moved to help our community during this time,” Lawson said.

Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association. The group, which represents dozens of auto dealers in the greater District of Columbia, is offering to step in if a furloughed employee’s car needs an unexpected fix. A number of  WANADA’s dealer members have pledged to offer deferred auto repairs if needed—with payment delayed until 30 days after the shutdown completes. “Through this program, WANADA members are happy to do their part in making this difficult time at least a little bit easier,” President and CEO John O’Donnell said in a news release.

National Association of State Workforce Agencies. While the federal government may be shut down, federal employees may be able to get help with unemployment from their respective state while they’re off the job. NASWA has resources on its website about the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program, an unemployment benefit that states offer in service to the federal government. The association recommends reaching out to the state organization in which the federal employees last worked before being furloughed.

Financial services organizations. Associations representing many corners of the banking and financial services industries—including a number of state-level credit union associations, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Wisconsin Bankers Association, and the American Financial Services Association—are working to highlight the services that their members are offering to assist furloughed federal employees. “America’s credit unions are embodying their structure and mission by ensuring that all of their impacted members have access to low- or no-interest loans with generous repayment terms,” the Credit Union National Association stated on its website, in a roundup of different state-level offerings.

Is your organization taking steps to help out federal employees? Share how in the comments.

(filo/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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