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Savannah River Site-Superfund Job Training Initiative Graduates Second Class

Release Date: 07/12/2010
Contact Information: James Pinkney, (404) 562-9183, pinkney.james@epa.gov

(Atlanta – July 9, 2010) Today the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Savannah River Site–Superfund Job Training Initiative (SRS-SJTI) graduated 39 candidates at Denmark Technical College in Barnwell, SC.

The July graduation ceremony marked the completion of a second successful SJTI program class designed to provide access to sustainable, career employment opportunities to under-served communities surrounding the SRS.

In March 2010, a heavy recruitment effort was conducted for deserving individuals residing in the Allendale County area – a predominantly African-American community struggling with an over 25 percent unemployment rate. Over two hundred individuals showed up expressing interest in the program.

After several orientation sessions, approximately 169 candidates continued with the program’s screening process, including a second stage called “tryouts.” Program tryouts included:

    Candidate participation in leadership, team building and role playing activities;
    basic physical fitness sessions; and
    observation by 20 evaluators representing project partners

In May 2010, 39 candidates were selected to participate in a 2 week, pre-employment training process that included interviewing skills, life skills, and cultural competence. The pre-employment training was followed by 4 weeks of intense technical training including fundamentals of mathematics, general science, and physics. Most of the technical training was provided through a partnership with Denmark Technical College, a Historically Black Institution in Bamberg County.

After training requirements were completed, candidates tested and interviewed for Radiological Control Inspector and Maintenance Operator positions at the SRS. New career opportunities will be provided to graduates by Savannah River Remediation, Inc., a contractor organization operating at the SRS. EPA provided funding for this initiative that supports full-time, permanent, career positions through the Technical Assistance to Support Communities (TASC) Grant.