Sequestration could affect unemployment services in the Valley

POSTED: 04:15 PM PST Feb 28, 2013    UPDATED: 05:30 PM PST Feb 28, 2013 
Unemployment, employment forms
INDIO, Cali. -

 The unemployment rate in our area remains one of the highest in the country.
     If the president and congress can't find a solution, finding a job here could become even more difficult.
     Indio resident Michael Angelo often uses career development services. He says, "It's going to affect a lot of people ... I do believe. It seems to be busy all the time and they're very instrumental in getting people employment in the surrounding area so."
     Workforce agencies in the state face cuts from five to ten percent, that's more than a million dollars in Riverside County.
     Less money means less people will receive help from services like job counseling at the office in Indio.
     Rachel Perez describes the office, "It's like a one stop center for all your resources. They have everything. Office equipment, they have fax machines, they have phones, they have counselors."
     Workforce officials say the cuts will affect services across the board, including job training and economic development.
     Perez says, "The Coachella Valley needs it. It's a growing community and especially for the middle class families. They need training and they need centers to help them."
     Complicating the process even further is the lack of a workforce investment act which expired 10 years ago.
     If it gets re-authorized, it would help people who need it the most.
     Annette Marquez says the services are invaluable. She tells us, "Otherwise you would be, I mean, lost. It's devastating to apply for a job if you've been looking for a year and you haven't been able to find anything. The career counselors help you."