January 22, 2016
About 2,000 new employees will be hired by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, or SRNS, through a partnership with Aiken Technical College, the SRS contractor announced Friday.
According to a press release, students enrolling in Aiken Tech’s Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program can receive up to $2,000 in grant funds per semester. For Aiken County residents, tuition per semester for the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate program is about $2,100.
The program blends applied chemistry, physics and engineering classes and provides a foundation for employment in today’s modern nuclear facilities, according to the Aiken Tech website.
The program requires two semesters of course work to complete and is a collaborative effort between the college and the contractor.
“We have plans to hire 80 general production workers that we call ‘operators’ this year alone,” said Carol Johnson, president and CEO of SRNS. “Aiken Technical College has created a new program whose graduates will have met all our fundamental training needs, providing much needed job candidates who are ready to go to work in our nuclear facilities almost immediately.”
SRNS added that newly hired operators who have earned the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate can expect starting pay to be approximately $41,000 a year. The contractor expects to hire as many as 2,000 qualified general production operators, radiation control personnel and mechanics at SRS over the next several years.
Johnson added that the effort is due to the expected retirement for a large percentage of the SRNS workforce. Reports from last year concluded that at least 50 percent of the workforce will be eligible for retirement in the coming years.
Aiken Tech President Dr. Susan Winsor added that each graduate with the certificate in hand will find multiple employers in the nuclear field, locally, regionally and nationally.
“We’ve been in contact with several large corporations in this field, and they are all in need of qualified nuclear workers,” Winsor said. “We want ATC to be the college that educates, equips and provides those job candidates.”
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is the management and operations contractor for the Savannah River Site.