Office of Environmental Management

Hanford Site Focuses on the Workforce of the Future

March 19, 2019

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Recent graduates of the Supporting Talent & Engaging Professionals for Success (STEPS) program are shown.
Recent graduates of the Supporting Talent & Engaging Professionals for Success (STEPS) program are shown here. STEPS a six-month program that provides participating employees with an opportunity to focus on their growth as future leaders.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Outside of cleanup, one of the biggest priorities at the Hanford Site is developing its future workforce. Over the next five years, nearly 30 percent of Hanford workers will be eligible for retirement. This figure represents nearly 3,000 people with specialized experience, training and knowledge.

   EM and its Richland Operations Office contractor Mission Support Alliance (MSA) are developing programs to attract new employees and keep current employees engaged. These include working with local schools and organizations, providing academic scholarships, offering leadership-training classes, and building mentor relationships.

Jessica Esparza, a staffing specialist with MSA, right, assists a high school student with a mock interview and resume advice.
Jessica Esparza, a staffing specialist with MSA, right, assists a high school student with a mock interview and resume advice.

   “Our goal is to create a set of programs and initiatives that will make MSA the employer of choice,” said Todd Beyers, MSA vice president of human resources. “That means developing programs that are attractive to incoming employees, beneficial to developing our team and provide growth opportunities internally.”

   Having awarded $740,000 since 2009, the company scholarship program provides financial aid to employee dependents, supporting students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other diverse careers.

   The contractor also organizes an annual community event focused on developing the future workforce. Connect Tri-Cities provides thousands of diverse job seekers the opportunity to meet with local businesses, Hanford contractors, trade unions, universities, and other organizations.

Attendees at the second annual Connect Tri-Cities event listen to the job opportunities available at one local company. More than 1,000 local high school students and job seekers attended the event where they were able to learn about potential jobs.
Attendees at the second annual Connect Tri-Cities event listen to the job opportunities available at one local company. More than 1,000 local high school students and job seekers attended the event where they were able to learn about potential jobs.

While pursuing a degree, college-level students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience through a co-op intern program. As a part of the program, students work year round in career areas such as engineering, finance and project management.

   Employees can also participate in the Supporting Talent & Engaging Professionals for Success (STEPS) program, a six-month program that provides employees an opportunity to focus on their growth as future leaders.

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