Chesapeake company says sequestration not end of budget concerns

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by Brian Farrell, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:43 AM

CHESAPEAKE -- Tecnico Corporation employs about 440 people. More than 300 of them work in Hampton Roads. Because of what could be described as a budgetary mess in the nation's capital, roughly one-third of those locally-based workers could face layoffs.

"As a United States citizen, I'm embarrassed that we're in this situation," said Tecnico President Ray Wittersheim. "As someone that tries to provide employment for 440 people. It's a huge concern that, because of the fact people can't sit down and compromise and come up with a deal, livelihoods of quite a few of our employees are at stake."

Tecnico does a lot of work for the military and offers services including ship repair and steel fabrication.

Many people have been focused on March 1, the date associated with sequestration and its massive, automatic budget cuts. Wittersheim acknowledged if the sequester takes effect, it will have long-reaching implications for his company and its workers as well as similar businesses and their employees.

Just as concerning, he explained, is March 27, the date affiliated with a continuing resolution.

"The Navy would be forced to continue 2013 Fiscal Year based on the 2012 budget," Wittersheim told 13News. "They end up with quite a bit of a shortfall, money-wise, in that scenario, so that's a huge impact."

For Tecnico, that could mean the loss of work it is supposed to do on USS Oscar Austin and USS Laboon. Loss of that work is what would risk the jobs of Tecnico workers.

"We take pride in our company in that we're a family company," said Wittersheim, and it affects all of us when we're looking at the consequences of having to go ahead and lay that many off."

 

Don't miss our special report on this important issue Friday at 7:00 pm. Submit your questions on our Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #hrsequester. More coverage here

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