USEC plant suppliers look for other ways to bring in business after announcement of closure


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH - The machines at Paducah's South Side Machine Shop are still cranking out orders, but General Manager Jack Campbell said they aren't going to USEC.

"Their orders have gone down tremendously even in the past year," Campbell said.

The shop provided USEC with metal machine parts for 25 years and at one point USEC made up about 25% of his business.  It's one of eight regional or Paducah-based companies that are USEC's top suppliers.

"There is not another USEC out there that will impact this community the way they have," he said.

Campbell isn't solely dependent on USEC's business, but said losing it will hurt.  He started diversifying his clientele when he was unsure of the plant's future last year.  "The loss of jobs especially these type jobs are really hard for a community to absorb," Campbell said.

McCracken County Judge Executive Van Newberry said the county did the same.  For the last few years, the county cut estimated revenues in order to soften any financial blow.  He's gunning for a slow shutdown.

"We hope the Department of Energy holds USEC to the contracts that will allow the ramping down of the work out there to take place at a slow manner," Newberry said.

"We've seen a lot of miracles happen in this community before and we just pray for another one for these guys here," Campbell said.