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Opportunities, Inc. doesn't expect immediate impact from government shutdown

Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-02 17:24:38-04

As the clock ticks in Congress on a deadline to keep the government running, some agencies that depend on federal funding are keeping a nervous eye on Capitol Hill. But there are some organizations that rely on government dollars that have been through this before.

One group that receives a chunk of federal money is Opportunities, Inc. But, they’re not ready to push the panic button just yet.

“From what I know from the last shutdown, we were able to continue our services and we didn't have any interruption service,” said Opportunities, Inc. Executive Director Karla Seaman. “So, I anticipate that there's not going to be an interruption of service. So our Head Start services and all of other services, they should go on as usual.”

Opportunities, Inc. serves six north-central Montana counties, providing a range of services including a youth work program, youth employment and engagement services, emergency services and Head Start programs.

“With Head Start, it would depend if there was a grantee in the United States that had a funding date of October 1, it would probably have effect on them,” said Seaman. “Our funding date is in August, so we've already been funded.”

Seaman says there are no federal employees locally that would be furloughed, but some outside employees they deal with could be impacted.

“That would be like the regional office or any other, the national office, if we had a question or needed something from our specialist or something, they wouldn't be available,” said Seaman.

If the government does shutdown, its unknown how long it would last, but Seaman estimates Opportunities, Inc. could operate for a few months.