USC economist gets nuclear jobs grant

Doug Woodward, an economist with USC's Moore School of Business, has received a $150,000 federal grant to study the employment and education needs of the nation's nuclear energy industry, the university announced.

The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy and the S.C. Universities Research and Education Foundation.

The nuclear energy industry is a significant employer in South Carolina, and the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry policy organization, has estimated that half of the industry's work force will be eligible to retire in the next decade.

The U.S. government has embarked on several efforts to help colleges and universities educate and train new workers for the industry.

Woodward, director of the Moore School's Division of Research, will work with Joseph Von Nessen, a Moore School assistant professor of economics, to gauge the need for nuclear scientists and engineers over the next decade.

Their survey is expected to detail the demand for jobs in the energy, environmental, medical and defense sectors of the nuclear industry.