Paducah Bank is proud to have worked with PACRO to provide loans for some of these students who completed the program! Read the latest news from the Paducah Sun:
BY DAVID ZOELLER, The Paducah Sun
The first class of 22 students has completed the 12-week certified radiation technician course at West Kentucky Community and Technical College with hopes of filling positions at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
“Some of them have already had offers and have taken the (U.S. Department of Energy) core exam to go to work for one of the contractors,” said Jim Pape, WKCTC’s vice president of workforce and economic development. “How many of them will be hired will depend on how many passed the test.”
Since the core exam is conducted by DOE’s chief contractor, Fluor Federal Services, “we probably won’t know who went to work and for who for five or six weeks,” Pape said. “Once they finish (the course) with us, it’s no longer our deal. From the best I can tell, the majority of them will have offers shortly.”
The program is being offered because of the need for “rad techs” at the site with the cleanup operation progressing.
“All of the contractors out there will need rad techs at some point,” Pape said. The jobs start at about $35 an hour.
Community interest in the course has been strong, according to Pape. While a firm date to start a second class has not been set, there is already a waiting list of about 130 people for the class, which will have 25 slots.
Those on the waiting list will be notified within six weeks or so when the next class will be held, Pape said.
The Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization and Paducah Bank partnered to develop a loan program for students who were not eligible for assistance under the U.S. Department of Labor’s $4.5 million workforce training grant. Eligibility requirements specify they be “displaced workers,” according to Scott Darnell, president/CEO of Paducah Economic Development, which oversees PACRO.
“There were six participants that took advantage of the loan program,” Darnell said. “We’ll keep this opportunity in mind for future programs.” The loans are for $3,000.
According to Darnell, the success of the first class and continued interest in the program “is a testament to the college for the screening and communicating of the opportunity.”
Pape praised the staff and instructors at WKCTC for putting the class together in a very short time frame.
“We want these people to succeed,” Pape said. “We’ve got a lot of people out here who want to go do this. There’s 130 people on a waiting list to take a class that has 25 slots … there’s something good about that.”