Bracing for second round of USEC layoffs


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

PADUCAH, Ky. - Thousands of careers cut short. Even though one of our area's largest employers is shutting down one step at a time, that doesn't lessen the blow to families who look to USEC for their paycheck.

Company officials tell Local 6 nearly 100 of their union and non-union workers received notification Monday that they'll likely be laid off next week.

24 United Steelworkers' last day will be October 25.  Their titles range from operator, to machinist, mechanic, and just about everything in between.

Approximately 75 non-union people will be laid off before the 25.

We don't have the department breakdown for those jobs, but in the end, no matter what employees did at USEC, they all face the same situation and are headed back to square one.

In a West Kentucky Community And Technical College classroom it's not the teacher or the topic aggravating this accomplished chemical operator and navy veteran. 

The biggest frustration for this freshman is that he's the oldest student in the class.

Rich Buurman knows all about the world and understands how quickly anyone's world can change, especially when you're the breadwinner in a family of four, and lose your job.

"You kind of feel accomplished or whatever in that. I take care of you guys, I provide this, I provide that, then suddenly you're just there on the couch, trying to figure out where your place is now," Buurman said.

For now his place is at the Career Center for laid off USEC workers.

Director Troy Courtney said he's preparing for nearly a hundred more.

"Our number one objective is to get them back into the workforce, I'd like to see them stay in the community in the workforce, but our main goal is to get them back into the workforce," Courtney said.

Buurman's passion is now electricity and hopes this beginner's course sparks a new beginning.

"There's at least a path for me to success, as long as I have that I'm OK," Buurman said.

Courtney said right now seven laid off USEC workers are taking college classes.
13 more start school in January.

The third round of USEC layoffs are set to start sometime in the first quarter of next year.