Aiken Tech, SRS Apprenticeship Team Receive Innovation Team of the Year Award
Nikasha N Dicks
/ Categories: Press Releases

Aiken Tech, SRS Apprenticeship Team Receive Innovation Team of the Year Award

Aiken Technical College’s (Aiken Tech) Nuclear Fundamentals Apprenticeship Team has received the prestigious A. Wade Martin Innovation Team of the Year Award from the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) Foundation.

The annual award recognizes SC Technical College System employees who have worked together to make a significant contribution to their college or SCTCS.

“The Nuclear Fundamentals Apprenticeship Team has created a model for future workforce development initiatives. College leadership, project team members, and key stakeholders working together to solve complex workforce development challenges are key to success,” said Aiken Tech President Forest Mahan, Ph.D.

Aiken Tech’s team members are Dean Steven Simmons, Ed.D., School of Technical and Continuing Education; Dean Crystal Ratliff, Ph.D., Office of Student Success and Retention; and Department Chair Aherial Polite, Chemistry, Physics, and Nuclear Technology Department.

The team also includes industry partners from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS). Those representatives are Dorian Newton, D. Eng., Savannah River Site (SRS) Apprenticeship Steering Committee and SRNS Program Manager for the Apprenticeship School and Pipeline Training; BooBoo Roberts, SRNS Technical College Loaned Executive and Deputy Program Manager for Apprenticeship and Pipeline Training; and David Jackson, SRNS Apprenticeship School Lead.

The Nuclear Fundamentals Apprenticeship Program began in the spring of 2020 and has since had four cohorts to complete the program. In January, the program welcomed its largest cohort yet, with over 100 apprentices from SRS contractors SRNS, Savannah River Mission Completion, and Savannah River National Laboratory.

During the program, the apprentices spend two days a week in nuclear fundamentals courses taught by Aiken Tech instructors and two days a week at SRS, gaining practical, on-the-job experiences. Those who complete the program earn the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate from Aiken Tech.

“Savannah River Nuclear Solutions has grown to appreciate the vision and contribution of ATC and the fruitful partnerships we have established in numerous areas,” said Dr. Newton. “Their efforts in support of nuclear fundamentals and workforce development are worthy of recognition because of the impact they have on national, state, and regional interests. Combining a focus on national defense and the development of a viable workforce, we applaud the exceptional work accomplished by ATC.”

For more information about the Nuclear Fundamentals Apprenticeship Program, please visit

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