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SRNS Nuclear Operator Apprentices Earn Certificate from Aiken Technical College
Nikasha N Dicks
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SRNS Nuclear Operator Apprentices Earn Certificate from Aiken Technical College

The second cohort from the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship program graduated July 27, after completing the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program at Aiken Technical College (ATC).

Twelve apprentices participated in the eight-month Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship Program, which provides ATC students a unique learning opportunity by allowing them to simultaneously receive on-the-job training while completing their required classroom work. Students spent two days a week receiving instruction from ATC and two days a week training at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

Apprentices learned the basic qualifications of a production operator including conduct of operations principles, radiation worker training and qualification, and how to perform shift rounds.

“We are proud to have completed another successful operator apprenticeship program,” said SRNS President and CEO Stuart MacVean. “To ensure the development of a viable workforce in our community, we aspire to establish 300 Registered Apprenticeships throughout organizations in surrounding South Carolina counties by Oct. 1, 2021.”

Those graduates who meet all employment requirements will be hired at SRS and put to work in areas around the Site.

The Nuclear Fundamentals Program, created in 2016 in collaboration with SRNS, prepares students for entry-level positions in the nuclear industry. The recent addition of the apprenticeship program pathway further helps to build the workforce pipeline.

“For many years, we have partnered with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions to provide workforce development opportunities. The Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship program has opened a new pathway for those interested in a career in the nuclear industry by providing them with the skills and knowledge that meet the industry’s workforce needs. The apprentices also have a unique opportunity to gain real-life, on-the-job experiences and network with various workgroups at the Savannah River Site. It creates a strong foundation for a long-term, successful career,” said Dr. Steven Simmons, dean of technical and continuing education at Aiken Technical College. “The success of this program has become the blueprint for us to build similar opportunities for other employers in the area in the future.”

The Nuclear Operator Apprenticeship Program is part of Apprenticeship Carolina™ (AC). AC is a division of the South Carolina Technical College System, leads South Carolina in registered apprenticeship programs that help businesses and communities thrive economically. With the guidance of AC as well as the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, the operator apprenticeship program has been registered both with the state and nationally.

For more information about the SRNS Nuclear Operator Apprentice program, contact Janessa Smith, SRNS Human Resources Specialist, at (803) 646-3538.

For more information about the Nuclear Fundamentals program, visit www.atc.edu.

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