COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Monday's sudden decision by SCE&G and Santee Cooper to stop work on the V.C. Summer nuclear project is prompting former construction site employees to look for jobs outside the Palmetto State.
They include Michael Weaver, who was busy Thursday packing up his trailer to move to Florida. Weaver is a 20-year construction veteran, a boilermaker with multiple certifications, who has worked all over the U.S.
He and his wife Rhonda, along with other family members are heading to Crystal River, Florida.
"They're used to it," he says of the frequent moves. "But that don't change the fact that when it happens, there's always the upsetting stress about it."
He says the notification process lasted less than a half hour and came with little compensation.
"We got three days per diem and eight hours for that last day we worked," he says.
Weaver quickly found a new job in Crystal River, a town of about 3,000 on the Gulf Coast.
Other workers who gathered at a convenience store near one of the V.C. Summer gates also said they'd found jobs outside the state. Some, at the Vogtle nuclear construction project still underway in Georgia.
News of the shutdown was so abrupt, some employees on the site were not allowed to remove personal property from their work areas. They had an opportunity Thursday to retrieve those items.
State officials including Governor Henry McMaster announced Thursday they are setting up a series of job fairs for the laid-off nuclear site employees. The "Employ SC" events begin with a job fair August 14th in Chapin.
In a statement, McMaster called the decision to shutter the nuclear project "a jarring break of faith."