News 12 at 6 O'Clock, March 30, 2010
WAYNESBORO -- Plant Voglte's new nuclear reactors are nowhere near completion, but the impact on the people who will construct them is coming soon.
"They're making a good faith effort to recruit, interview, and find some qualified people," said Burke County Administrator Merv Waldrop.
The reactors won't be running for at least six years. But the Shaw Group is interviewing at least 170 people for site work this week.
"This is the equivalent of six to seven big plants that will be coming," adds Waldrop.
The construction is also a good sign for some local business owners. Some of them think the jobs could mimic the same type of growth when the plant was first built in the 1980s.
"This place was blooming," said Waynesboro auto dealer Eddie J. Taylor, "and a lot of people from everywhere met a lot of different friends. Some stayed and some left."
The county is also preparing for growth but not too much.
Said Waldrop: "We want to maintain the small town atmosphere, we want to see some growth, but we want it to be orderly growth, concentrate it around the small towns."
That, of course, goes all back to the workers themselves, which the county wants to prepare, too.
"They're going to demand the high skilled employees, and if we don't provide them skilled employees, they'll go for somewhere else. We've got to be ready for that."
Though this week's interviews are being conducted from a pool of candidates who have already applied, many more jobs will be available. 3,000 people will be hired for temporary construction, and 800 more permanent jobs at Plant Vogtle will be filled, too.
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Burke County is also recruiting a plant that could bring 50 to 100 more jobs to Burke County.