Exelon adding 400 jobs after bill saves company from near-shutdown

One week after the closure of two local Exelon plants was averted, the company announced they are adding hundreds of jobs.

It's been a roller coaster for Exelon's local generating plants.  Back in June of 2016, the company started making plans to close both the Clinton, Illinois Power Station and the Cordova Generating Station.

Had they closed, about 1,500 jobs would have been affected.  However, in early December, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the "Future Energy Jobs Bill," preserving jobs and keeping Exelon's local plants open for another 13 years.

Related: Thousands flock to Springfield in support of bill to keep Exelon plant open

After the bill was enacted, the company announced they were looking to hire 400 permanent employees to prepare the two plants for long-term operations.

“These plants are massive economic engines in their local communities, generating approximately $1.2 billion in economic impact each year. That will only increase once we get these large capital projects underway," said Bryan Hanson, Exelon Generation’s Chief Nuclear Officer.

At the Quad Cities plant, projects include installation of a hardened venting system, plant computer upgrades, and enhancements to the control room simulator, which is used to train reactor operators. The Clinton list includes upgrades to the plant’s main generator, replacement of an auxiliary transformer and upgrades to a pump motor that controls water flow outside the reactor.

“Opponents of the Future Energy Jobs Bill called it a bailout, but that’s a ridiculous argument,” said Rory Washburn, executive director of the Quad Cities area’s Tri City Building Trades Council. “This legislation is already creating good paying jobs for Illinois families and leveling the playing field so our safe and well run nuclear facilities can compete fairly with other subsidized sources of clean energy.”

Read More: Lawmakers face Exelon energy plan, dubbed as ‘bailout’