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Furloughed Latino Workers Wait To See What's Next


Haydee Maldonado, a project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans, many of them Latinos, whose job has been furloughed due to the government shutdown.

“We have been very anxious,” says Maldonado in an NBCLatino story. She directly oversees a staff of eight and indirectly works with government contractors. “There is a lot of work that is not progressing, because we are not there.”

The NASA engineer explains that she and her team are responsible for developing two space instruments and a launch vehicle.

“I have to make sure the instruments are being built, and that they meet government regulations,” says Maldonado. “I work directly with the Kennedy Space Center, and they are shut down as well.”

The mother of two is also worried about the recovery process and when they are allowed back to work.

“We’ll have to rush on our projects — that’s really stressing,” she says.

Maldonado says she and her team had been discussing the possibility of a shutdown for a while.

“Last week everyone was talking about it,” she says. “We were told to put together a list of emergency personnel to prepare for the shutdown…We didn’t get anything in writing until the very last minute. We were told to secure our working spaces, computers, and leave as if we  are not coming back.”

On Tuesday, every employee received an e-mail saying they had been furloughed, and since then they have just been waiting at home, watching the news, to see what happens next.

For more on this story, go to:

Photo: Natoinal Parks Conservation Association

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