Posted: Jul 4, 2011 4:56 AM by Kate Richards
With the end of NASA's space shuttle program this month, some 7,000 space jobs in Florida, and the end of many jobs in the communities near the Space Coast.
The highly-skilled space workers will have to compete in a labor market where more than one in 10 in America is unemployed. And because the area is still reeling from the housing crisis, it'll be tougher for them to sell their homes to relocate.
Surrounding communities already are feeling the pain. Donna Thrash, who runs a jobs workshop for space workers in Brevard County, says, "People are not working. They're economizing."
Hotels and restaurants that have hosted NASA tourists fear harder times after this month.
Raymond Steele lost his engineering job with NASA's scrapped moon program, and then his marriage collapsed. But the 57-year-old notes that other workers, wives, children and businesses have the same worries.