AIKEN, S.C. – During the inaugural “IT for a Day” career tour held recently, local high school students met with information technology (IT) and human resources employees to learn about working at the Savannah River Site (SRS).
“Coming to the Savannah River Site was an amazing opportunity for us,” said Steven Hahn, an IT instructor at Evans High School (EHS) in Evans, Georgia. “Our students need to see the end game, that employers like Target, the healthcare industry, and SRS all need cybersecurity personnel.”
Destiny Barrett, an EHS junior, said it was helpful to see concepts she’s learned in high school be applied in the real world.
“Being able to talk with IT employees who work in this field day to day and listen to their opinions was useful,” Barrett said.
The tour began at the newly created SRS Employee Onboarding Facility, the site’s “one-stop shop” for new hires.
“We wanted students to experience a day in the life of an IT employee at SRS, to walk in their shoes,” said Kim Mitchell, who works in the education outreach division at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), an EM contractor at the site.
Since 2014, 80 percent of all new SRNS hires have been local residents.
The students visited a large data center and gathered for presentations and discussions on computer-related topics, such as cybersecurity, mobile apps, internships, and SRNS employment opportunities for IT professionals.
There are hundreds of buildings across the 310-square-mile site, including industrial facilities, research laboratories, and supporting infrastructure, nearly all of which are dependent on IT support.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with students from nearby Columbia County,” Mitchell said. “We want to make sure they understand their options at SRS. We are very interested in hiring locally for many mutually beneficial reasons.”