Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- More than five thousand people are still trying to wrap their heads around the news they received Monday. SCE&G and Santee Cooper are abandoning construction at the V.C Summer nuclear plant.
"The announcement was unexpected for most people," said Clayton Ingram.
Now, the former employees are left with the lingering question: what's next?
"The biggest thing right now is making sure everyone receives what they are looking for," said Ken Sales.
The state's Department of Employment and Workforce said its three centers have seen at least 300 people who were laid off from the V.C Summer project.
SC Works is helping those unemployed with their benefits, as well as helping them think about their next steps in the job search.
"The key thing for us is to make sure they understand this is a temporary situation," said Sales with SC Works.
Sales said they are working with municipalities and employers, trying to find out who is hiring.
"We want them to be empowered and the biggest thing right now is, if we don't react or be proactive, we are going to react to the situation. We are taking a lead here and focusing on the opportunity for them to be empowered," he said.
When thinking about their next steps, many people may be worrying about how to pay their bills. The State Housing Authority helps South Carolinians pay their mortgage.
"This is a program that can step in an assist people temporarily," said Ingram with the State Housing Authority.
Ingram said they'll help pay the mortgage for two years, or up to $36 thousand, whichever comes first.
"For most people, that's going to be enough to bridge them over that time of hardship. They'll be employed again, so we want to help them over that time where they're having a little bit of trouble," said Ingram.
SC Works is holding a job fair for the laid-off V.C Summer workers. That will be held August 22 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Chapin. It will be held from 11am-3pm. Organizers say there will be about 80 employers on site.
To apply for mortgage help, visit SC Help. Those eligible for help include persons dealing with unemployment, underemployment, reduction of income for self-employed, death of a spouse, catastrophic medical expenses and/or divorce.
The Department of Employment and Workforce will be holding seminars for the V.C Summer layoffs, and help with unemployment and benefits. SC Housing will be on site. Details for the seminars have not been made available.
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