By Joe Walker firstname.lastname@example.org
A resource center is open in the former Western Kentucky Gas office at 1515 Broadway to help with career planning for displaced USEC Inc. workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
The USEC Career Resource Center should be ready for visitors Wednesday and is fielding calls now at 441-7655, said coordinator Pat Moss. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.
Moss said the center will help with job searches, writing resumes, interview skills and financial planning, and will add workshops on various other topics as needed. Orientation sessions will be held next week on the services available, but the dates and times of the sessions are pending, Moss said.
The center was established by USEC in concert with the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization, or PACRO, a citizens group funded by the Department of Energy to help ease job losses at the plant. During the last two years, USEC eliminated about 200 jobs and will cut another 425 starting July 1 amid serious financial trouble.
"What we're trying to do is assist employees to get relocated or whatever they need to do," Moss said. "We'll help them with educational skills. We're even going to show them how to open businesses if they don't want to relocate."
USEC, which will identify jobs for voluntary severance before making involuntary cuts, is offering only routine severance packages. However, the Energy Department will make an announcement later this week regarding enhanced severance, said DOE spokesman Walter Perry. The package probably will involve helping with relocation, medical and educational benefits, and retraining, he said.
"No one has been identified yet (for severance)," Moss said. "The center is open for anyone working at USEC, regardless of their status."