Hundreds of employees at the Savannah River Site are out of jobs tonight.
465 people from the Savannah River Remediation company were let go today – that's the group that handles liquid waste at SRS.
Erica Solomon slices and serves pizza at the Pizza Stop just blocks from SRS.
"We see about 120-150 people a day. Most of the business is from SRS," said Solomon.
Solomon says she's concerned the lunch crowds will shrink now that nearly 500 SRS employees won't take home a paycheck.
"It hurts – it puts fear on us that we may not have jobs. If we don't have the SRS clientele, so we may just as unemployed as the people being laid off," said Solomon.
Layoffs at SRS have a direct impact on the local economy here in Jackson. The Pizza Stop is one of the few restaurants still open. Others include a Chinese restaurant and a SUBWAY. Many others have moved out of town
"Last year, the restaurant across the street closed down – they moved to Aiken to make more money."
In just the last 2 years, federal funding has been slashed by 100-million dollars. That means trimming the payroll, which isn't just bad news for employees but for nearby towns who rely on that business.
"There was a gas station here, a supermarket, an autoparts store --- all these places used to flourish and now there's nothing," said Solomon.
"It gives me the chills – it's so sad. Just look at the area," said employee Dorothy Schmitt.
"Obviously, we are going to have make staffing cuts to stay in the black," said Solomon.
"It's a no win situation for everybody," said Solomon.
Those employees will get 2 weeks pay plus 1 week for every year they've worked for up to 26 weeks. Last October, 60 employees from SRR took voluntary separations.
And by October 1st, another 500 people from the MOX project will be out of a job because of federal cuts.
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