More USEC layoffs loom as largest round of layoffs wrap up

360 USEC employees at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant were laid off in April and the effects are being felt at the plant and at nearby businesses.

“We are used to a production facility with lots of activities,” said Steve Penrod.

He’s the vice president of enrichment operations for USEC and said those activities have either stopped or quieted down.  A look at the parking lot is enough to understand why.

“Lot of changes now as a result of the process of not running and of course phasing out,” he said.  300 USEC workers remain at the plant working on cleaning up waste from years of uranium enrichment. He met with some of the newly laid-off employees Thursday morning.

“It’s pretty sobering, obviously, to face that number of employees getting ready to walk out the door,” Penrod told Local 6.

The sting is also felt down the road at the IGA.  “As the layoffs continue, you could see little by little,” said Assistant Manager Tyler Leeds.

Leeds said the store started seeing less foot traffic in August, when the layoffs first began.

“You remember John used to come in every morning and all of a sudden, no John,” Leeds said.

It’s one of the unfortunate, but expected, effects of one of the largest layoff announcements in our area in years.  Penrod says sadly, the workforce reductions will continue until USEC’s job commitments are met later this fall.   

“Our hearts go out to those families. A lot of commitment to the site and a lot of talent so it’s really painful to see that happen,” he said.

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