'It was Like a Slap in the Face to Us' Says Laid Off Worker

Communities around V-C summer are hurting after news of 5600 layoffs after the construction of two nuclear reactors ended.

Pomaria, SC (WLTX) - Communities around V.C. Summer Nuclear Station are hurting after news of 5,600 layoffs when the construction of two nuclear reactors ended this week.

Even though it's only been two days since the job losses were announced, some former employees are already leaving town. 

Just 11 miles away from V.C. Summer, we found an RV Trailer Park in Pomaria where folks were packing to leave and the local shops are bracing for the impact.

Previous Coverage: SCE&G, Santee Cooper Abandon Nuclear Project 

Flyers that read, "are you an experienced mib, tib or stick welder?" were left on the doors of each RV parked on Gateway RV Park. It had information about where to find a job related to that field.

Whoever left those flyers knew that almost every single one of the homes belonged to a former employee of the plant. 

Previous Coverage: Lawmaker: People Need to Be Fired Over Plant Debacle

Leighton Spicer came to South Carolina from Florida on the promise of 5-6 years of work. He only got 9 months. "It was like a slap to the face to us," he said. "You've got a good paying job here and now you don't have nothing."

He was already getting used to the country life out in Pomaria, the small town in Newberry County. This week, he's packing up his bags and hitting the road back to Florida.

"They gave us a piece of paper and told us we could file for unemployment," explained Spicer.

While he plans to look for another job, those staying behind are wondering how they'll make up for all that revenue that's leaving with them.

Jimmy Wilson anticipates to lose 15 percent of his business. His family grocery store, Wilson's Grocery, has been around for three generations.

"We seen the first nuclear reactor built, the town was booming doing well at that time, those people moved out after construction was finished but nothing like this," he said. 

With all his experience, believe Mr. Wilson when he says their little country store is going to make it. "We've survived a long time, we'll be okay," Wilson said.

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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