Kentucky plant closure disrupts workers' lives

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 18, 2013 at 11:10 am •  Published: August 18, 2013
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PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Jim Rodgers assumed his job as an electrician at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant would take him all the way to retirement.

For six decades, the government-owned uranium-enrichment plant was synonymous with job security and some of the region's best wages.

And yet, with a decade or more to go in his working life, the 53-year-old Rodgers is looking for a new job, possibly in another state.

In May, plant operators announced they were shutting it down. They laid off 160 workers at the end of last week and expect to let another 100 go in October.

Altogether, it looks like more than 1,000 workers will be left without jobs, losing generous salaries that will be nearly impossible to match elsewhere in the region.