A West Kentucky Community and Technical College program set to begin in May will train people for potential Department of Energy work.
The Health Physics Training Program is a partnership between WKCTC and Paducah Economic Development to prepare people to clean up the gaseous diffusion plant.
WKCTC Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development Jim Pape says participants will have to take a federal exam to gain their radiation control certification.
“The program is to train people to do radiation monitoring, radiation safety for the contractors and subcontractors out at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant,” he said.
Pape’s office says workers with the radiation control technician certification make an average of $35 an hour.
“These positions are in high demand both locally and around the country,” PED Executive Director Scott Darnell said in a press release. “These are high-paying career opportunities in industries that are continually seeking trained personnel. This is a great example of how partnerships at the local level can drive economic development in our community.
“WKCTC, PACRO, the Department of Energy, and Paducah Economic Development are all working together with DOE contractors to create the opportunity for these lucrative, technical positions to be offered to qualified candidates in our area.”
But Pape says the potential jobs for people with this training extend beyond the PGDP clean up.
“This same certification will be something that they can take any place they want to go in the country that has either nuclear power plants or enrichment facilities or clean up facilities,” he said. “A lot of hospitals need rad techs. There’s a lot of opportunity for people with this certificate.”
Other fields this training can apply to include university and government research.
Pape says the jobs won’t be temporary either, lasting at least several years while contractors work to clean up the Paducah facility for future use.