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We're looking for qualified people for our nuclear plant March 26, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, rural nuclear, Snake River Alliance.
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Below is a news release we sent last week regarding our taking resumes and letters of interest from people about jobs. Jennie sums things up pretty well, so I won’t say any more.

Elmore nuclear plant company to accept resumes April 22
Approval of the project will require thousands of trained workers of all skills

March 16, 2009
For more information, contact: Jennie Ransom, AEHI spokeswoman 208-939-9311
Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100

Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., the Eagle company developing a nuclear power plant in Elmore County, will be accepting resumes and letters of interest from people on April 22 in front of Mountain Home Junior High School beginning at 5 p.m.

“I get ten letters a week, unsolicited, for people who want to work for our company,” said company spokeswoman Jennie Ransom. “When the time comes to build this plant, we are going to need to call on thousands of skilled local people, so I figured we might as well start collecting resumes.”

Ransom and other AEHI volunteers will staff a table to accept resumes and letters of interest. People who submit a resume will be encouraged to attend the Elmore County Commission meeting in the adjacent junior high school auditorium and show their support for the proposal to construct a large advanced nuclear reactor in Elmore County.

“The commission needs to hear from Elmore County residents and Idahoans in general that our plant should be a priority for economic development,” Ransom said. “The Treasure Valley has had to turn away major employers because of lack of energy. The plant would directly put people to work and allow other industries to come.”

The company plans to hire locally and from Idaho as much as possible. Idaho State University can supply many employees trained in nuclear technology, while the large number of ex-military in Elmore County would be ideal for security and operations jobs. Other Idahoans are skilled in management, construction, maintenance and office work, Ransom said.

“These are stable, family-wage jobs that cannot be sent overseas,” Ransom said, pointing to recent news coverage showing Idaho is the third most-stressed state economically. “The average wage in the nuclear industry is $80,000 a year and these jobs provide a great sense of accomplishment.”

Ransom said the company is interested in letters of interest and resumes from people in the following jobs:

Administration – human resources, secretaries, admin assistants, clerks, managers
Attorneys
Auxiliary operator
Boilermakers, pipefitters, plumbers
Buyers
Chemists andchemistry technicians
Construction workers
Electricians
Engineers – nuclear, civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial
Engineering technicians
Environmental compliance professionals
Facilities maintenance personnel – mechanics, instrumentation, HVAC, diesel, electrical.
Food service workers
Information tech specialists
Janitors
Laboratory technicians
Landscapers
Parts specialists
Radiation technicians
Reactor Operator
Receptionists
Security personnel – ex-military and Guard
Warehouse staff

The nuclear industry is very selective, however. Plant workers need high security clearances and must pass background checks and psychological tests. Ransom said the high number of former and current military personnel in Elmore County make it an ideal place for finding prospective employees.

AEHI’s 2007 economic study found the plant would grow employment in Elmore and Owyhee counties by 25 percent and generate 4,230 jobs statewide during construction, including a total annual payroll impact of $839 million – nearly 2 percent of the payroll in Idaho. It would also generate 1,004 annual jobs statewide during operation (estimated 60 years or more) with an annual statewide payroll impact of $57 million. It would also pay average annual wages of $80,000 to plant employees (267 percent of Idaho average) and pay would be $33,536 (112 percent of Idaho average) in industries indirectly affected (2006 dollars). Total annual labor income impacts in Owyhee and Elmore counties during operation would be $52.3 million.

Ransom said she was shocked at a Jan. 9 news release by an opposition group warning that one of the drawbacks of the plant would be “thousands of construction workers.”

“There might already be hundreds, if not thousands, of construction workers in Elmore County, and the only difference is that they’re unemployed and looking for jobs,” Ransom said. “Until our opponents come up with a plan to put people to work, it sounds elitist and out-of-touch for them to complain about construction workers getting jobs in Elmore County or anywhere else. The lack of jobs and tax revenue is already straining county services.”

Unemployment in the Elmore County has reached 7 percent, which is high for a place with a normally robust economy. Loss of jobs thousands of jobs at Micron, the closing of a potato processing plant, a poor Christmas season and fewer car sales are behind much of the unemployment. On March 7, the Idaho Statesman reported the Idaho jobless rate is at a 21-year high of nearly 7 percent, with some 53,000 unemployed; the state is expecting a 12 percent drop in tax revenue. Economists say joblessness will continue to rise nationally for the rest of the year and into early 2010, with the unemployment rate reaching 9 to 10 percent before it turns around.

Ransom said it could be a few years before large numbers of jobs commence at the AEHI plant, as AEHI must first obtain approval. Delays caused by the opposition, if any, will extend the construction start time.

However, even with no new plants under construction, the nuclear industry is already putting people to work. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “nuclear energy is one of the few bright spots in the US economy – expanding rather than contracting.” An NEI report says the prospect of new plant construction in has already stimulated considerable investment and job creation among companies that supply the nuclear industry: “Over the last several years, the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development, and plans to invest approximately $8 billion in the next several years to be in a position to start construction in 2011-2012.”

In the course of this, NEI said, “private investment in new nuclear power plants has created an estimated 14,000-15,000 jobs.” The number of new jobs “will expand dramatically after 2011 when the first wave of these new nuclear projects starts construction.”

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