The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is focusing on a new growth opportunity for the workforce.
Employee development has been an important focus area for Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) since beginning its SRS contract in February 2022. Over the last year, SRMC has graduated its first class from the SRMC Leaders' Forum, established a group to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and joined membership with other SRS contractor professional development groups.
In addition to these initiatives, SRMC employees have the chance to shadow and learn directly from SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson. He hosts each interested participant for a brief introductory session to understand shared interests and review personal career plans. A full day of shadowing is then scheduled with the president or another member of the executive staff whose position is more aligned with the employee’s aspirations.
According to Olson, the key objectives of the shadowing program are for participants to see the liquid waste mission from the perspective of the president’s office, learn how decisions are made, gain insight from and network with the president, and offer ideas and recommendations for the company.
“Preparing the next generation of leaders is crucial to the future of the liquid waste mission at the Savannah River Site,” Olson said. “Offering a shadowing program is just one of the ways we can engage in succession planning to ensure this important mission continues safely and efficiently over the coming years.”
Shanna Xia, a shift technical engineer at the Defense Waste Processing Facility, chose to participate in the shadowing program for several reasons.
“This is a great opportunity to get to know the SRMC president and to learn about our mission from the highest level,” Xia said. “I want to know what it means to be the president and what daily challenges and successes he faces. Also, I want to learn how I can grow to support the Liquid Waste Program.”
Employees with jobs ranging from project management to procurement to facility engineering have participated in executive shadowing opportunities.
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