Exelon Nuclear will close Victoria office, eliminate local community outreach position

July 28, 2009

Nuclear firm eliminates local community outreach position

By Allison Miles
Victoria Advocate

Exelon Nuclear's local office will close and Bill Harris' position as manager of community outreach for Texas will be eliminated, Harris announced Tuesday.

"I was not laid off," he said to about 60 people at the Victoria Economic Development Corporation's Victoria Partnership meeting. "I still have a job, just not here."

Exelon notified Harris on July 21 that he could either take an early retirement or accept a community manager position in Clinton, Ill.

"At this point, I have accepted my boss' offer," he said.

Exelon announced about a month ago that it would eliminate 400 business service positions and another 100 with its utility subsidiary, said Craig Nesbit, Exelon's director of communication.

The company is still in its early site permit stage for the proposed Victoria County plant and isn't required to make a decision to build. It could be a few years or 20 years before something actually happens, Nesbit said, and Exelon didn't see the need to maintain the local office.

The office will likely close within a month or two but could re-open in the future, depending on what happens in the future, he said.

The local office opened in May 2008, although Harris was not in town full time until that July.

Anyone who knows Harris and his wife know they've loved Victoria since the day they arrived, Harris said. If there were local work for him, he said he would likely have made a different decision.

"But I haven't been able to find anything," he said.

The local office will remain open for the time being. It is at 114 N. Main St.

For more information, call 361-578-2705.

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