AIKEN, S.C. – Students attending area technical colleges can now participate in the new Apprenticeship School at the Savannah River Site (SRS) created by U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS).
In addition to getting paid, SRS apprentices gain job-related experience, network to obtain job references and test drive occupations of their choosing while pursuing college degrees.
A team of employees from SRNS, the Savannah River National Laboratory and liquid waste contractor Savannah River Mission Completion are working together to quickly grow and enhance the school. Generally, apprentices will be recruited twice each year to start school in January or in the fall.
Aiken and Denmark technical colleges are currently participating in the unique school.
“We’re in the process of developing a program with Augusta Technical College and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and recruiting a cohort of students from those colleges for the fall of this year,” said Dorian Newton, the SRNS Apprenticeship School Program manager.
Denmark Technical College Dean of Industrial & Related Technologies Hadi Hamid said their mission is to engage, educate and empower students to impact industry by identifying transformative solutions to complex issues in South Carolina, the nation and the world.
“We achieve this by utilizing a wide range of resources and opportunities, available both inside and outside the classroom,” said Hamid. “The innovative Apprenticeship School concept, developed by SRNS, perfectly aligns with our mission and strategy. It has already generated extensive interest across our campus. We are excited to see the potential of this program fulfilled and are grateful for the investment SRNS continues to make in our small, rural HBCU.”
HBCUs stands for historically Black colleges and universities.
Earlier this month, SRS brought on 106 apprentices who will soon start classes at SRS and Aiken Technical College.
“We are also looking at increasing the number of maintenance mechanics and laboratory technician apprentices at the site sometime this year by partnering with local tech schools to further expand the number of apprentices at SRS,” Newton said. “In fact, the first class of maintenance apprentices recently graduated from our program.”
Adam Smith, an SRNS Apprenticeship School Program lead, offered his perspective on enrolling students in the SRS Apprenticeship School.
“In some ways, this process is similar to recruiting a college football team. We actively meet with high school counselors and students at various types of career fairs, in addition to partnering with county career center personnel,” said Smith. “We want to be proactive towards informing as many high school students as possible regarding all we have to offer in meeting their long-term occupational needs.”
In a significant achievement for SRNS, the U.S. Department of Labor recently approved the SRNS Project Controls Apprenticeship, a first of its kind in the DOE complex and broader U.S.
Click here for more information on the Apprenticeship School at SRS.
To receive the latest news and updates about the Office of Environmental Management, submit your e-mail address.