SCA Region Part of New Apprenticeship Initiative with SRNS
November 20, 2020
Gov. McMaster, SRNS Announce Major Apprenticeship Commitment
SouthernCarolina Alliance joined Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, and the S.C. Technical College System today to announce a regional task force commitment to create 300 new registered apprentice opportunities over the next year in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Aiken Counties.
“The challenge has been issued for our region to promptly create 300 registered apprenticeships within the South Carolina Technical College System from the counties of Aiken, Barnwell, Allendale, Bamberg, Edgefield and Orangeburg,” said SRNS President and CEO Stuart MacVean. “We’re working to do our part, and we have set a goal to facilitate the creation of 100 apprenticeships at SRS by October 2021.” SRNS is the management and operations contractor at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site near Aiken.
The CSRA Apprenticeship Task Force is led by Apprenticeship Carolina and Denmark Technical College President Dr. Willie Todd, and includes the Aiken County Public School District Career and Technology Center, Aiken Technical College, Aiken Works, Economic Development Partnership, Lower Savannah Council of Government, Manufacturer’s Council, SRS Community Reuse Organization and the SouthernCarolina Alliance.
“This apprentice effort is a great addition to the outstanding work that Apprenticeship Carolina and the S.C. Technical College System are building upon across our state,” said Gov. McMaster. “We know that apprenticeships can help South Carolina create a stronger workforce development pipeline that can help create career opportunities for our people and encourage economic growth across the entire state.”
Registered apprenticeship programs traditionally support careers related to manufacturing and construction but can also include a variety of jobs found at SRS including production operators, radiation protection personnel, IT professionals and aspiring engineers.
Apprentices become highly skilled individuals possessing the benefits of scalable wages, on-the-job training, and classroom learning.
SRNS recently experienced success with a pilot apprenticeship program for production operators in association with Aiken Technical College. This program began with 10 individuals obtaining the basic qualifications required for an SRNS production operator – including conduct of operations principles and radiation worker training. SRNS made full-time job offers to six of the participants. A second group of candidates have been interviewed to fill 14 openings in the SRNS apprenticeship initiative based on the success of the pilot program.
More than $11 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand registered apprenticeship programs in South Carolina is also available. This funding will be used to further ensure the continued success of the SRNS apprenticeship program, not just at SRS, but across the CSRA.
This registered apprenticeship program at SRNS is based on a partnership between several local organizations including Apprenticeship Carolina™ (AC). AC is a collaboration between Ready South Carolina and the South Carolina Technical College System and is dedicated to furthering economic and workforce development. With the guidance of AC as well as the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, SRNS apprenticeships will be registered both with the state and nationally.
“Apprenticeships are about to rapidly spread across SRS,” said Francine Burroughs, SRNS Manager, Talent Management and Education Outreach. “And, we are thrilled to be on the crest of this wave. We believe many other nearby companies will soon be enthusiastic participants as well.”
SRNS is striving to expand their employment “pipeline” through limited service employees who are trained, certified and ready through apprenticeships to step into fulltime openings.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a Fluor-led company with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.