Blythewood, SC (WLTX) – The impact of the massive layoffs at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant continues to have an impact around the Midlands.
More than 5,000 people lost their jobs amid SCE&G and Santee Coopers decision to abandon construction on two nuclear reactors.
"I saw career opportunities, you know? It made me very hopeful,” says Colton, who worked in the painters union at the facility for nine months.
"I was so confident that the place was going to continue, that we got the house."
One week ago, he and his wife moved into their new home in Blythewood. Before that, he was renting a trailer in the area.
"My plans were to continue working here until the site went operational and then try to switch over to the live side, because me and my wife wanted to stay in the community,” he says.
However, those plans changed drastically, when he got the news that he and thousands of other employees, some who just started, were let go.
"You could say that for some jobs it would be ok to give sudden layoff to somebody for whatever reason, but for a job like this where you've got so many people traveling,” he says. “I think it's cruel that you would allow all these contractors to hire in new people, to then lay them off this week."
Now he’s looking for work elsewhere, but nuclear construction opportunities are few and far between.
He’s hoping that with his mechanical degree, he will be able to make up for the money he expected to put towards his mortgage.
"If it hadn't have been for the plant, then we wouldn't have been able to get the house, but now I have to find something that's equivalent to it."