HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Stennis Space Center workers, and those who supply the NASA facility with goods and services, are glad to be back at work and able to do business with the government installation again. Suppliers and employees say that with the end of the shutdown, the economic recovery process can now begin.
"They called us this morning to come back in, I'm excited," said government employee Mike Killam.
Killam works in facilities maintenance at Stennis Space Center. He says the past 16 days have been some of the longest of his life.
"I've got bills to pay. I didn't know what to think, I thought it wouldn't last as long as it did you know, this has been a long time," explained Killam.
Killam has been a federal government worker for 29 years. He says he and his family could only watch, wait and keep their fingers crossed.
"Just tried to stay busy at the house, watching a lot of C-Span trying to understand where we were headed, what direction we were going in, just kind of waiting."
Thursday morning, the call he had waited three weeks for finally came.
"In 29 years I've never been involved with something like this. I'm just glad to be back at work," said Killam.
Those who provide products and services to Stennis were also happy to hear the shutdown had ended.
"We're glad to go back in there," said Bobby Torrence.
Torrence delivers computer and office supplies to NASA's engine test facility. Delivering supplies was impossible when there was no one on the job to clear his truck through the gates.
"As a matter of fact, Monday I wasn't able to come in here," remarked Torrence.
Torrence says he's not exactly sure just how much money the shutdown cost his company, but he says in today's economy every penny counts.
"Everyone's business is greatly appreciated."
Torrence says now that the workers that can give his truck the OK to go through are back on the job, he can now begin to recoup some of what his company lost.
"We can make timely deliveries now. It's going to go smoothly now," said Torrence.