RICHLAND, Wash. – EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Mission Support Alliance (MSA) recently hosted the 2019 Connect Tri-Cities, an event that brought together 1,200 high school students, job seekers, employers, educators, labor union representatives, tribal members, veterans, and others to help build the local workforce of the future.
Celebrating its third year, Connect Tri-Cities focused on addressing the challenges of a retiring workforce and connecting the next generation of workers with the EM cleanup mission. The full-day event featured speakers, informational booths, and breakout sessions.
Connect Tri-Cities included a job fair, one-on-one resume and interview workshops, science demonstrations, digital media influencer presentations, and more.
EM Hanford Site Manager Brian Vance said community events such as Connect Tri-Cities play a critical role in building the future workforce.
“I want to thank all of our partners who help make this event a success year after year,” Vance said. “By coming together, we are able to better identify needs and opportunities in the local workforce. At Hanford, this is especially important as nearly 35 percent of our workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next five years.”
Connect Tri-Cities also included a high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program scholarship competition. Seventeen teams of students competed for more than $28,000 in scholarships, awarded by MSA.
“In partnership with the community, this event gives us an excellent opportunity to engage younger generations and show them the opportunities that exist for their future,” said Bob Wilkinson, MSA president. “From trades and skilled labor to college and certification programs, Connect Tri-Cities encourages students and anyone attending to think more critically about their options. I’m proud of how this has grown into a true community event that is effecting change at Hanford and across the region."