EM Addresses Risks at ORNL Facilities, Prepares for Next Cleanup Phase; SRS Deer Hunt for Wounded Veterans, Mobility Impaired Marks 20th Year; and much more!

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EM Update | Vol. 11, Issue 44 | Nov. 12, 2019


EM Hanford Tanks Team Honored for Veteran Hiring, Support


EM Hanford tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) receives a YesVets award for being a veteran-friendly employer. From left, Jerry Kurtz, WRPS radiological controls manager; Lisa Bunch, WRPS workforce resources; Art Espinoza and Maribel Dominguez, WorkSource Columbia Basin; and John Eschenberg, WRPS president and CEO.

RICHLAND, Wash.EM Hanford tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) was recently recognized for its efforts to hire veterans and promote veteran employment.

WRPS received a YesVets award, part of a statewide campaign that recognizes employers who hire veterans. Several agencies, including the Employment Security Department of Washington state, the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington State Military Transition Council, and chambers of commerce across the state are part of the YesVets campaign. The company also received a Hire-A-Vet award, in support of the Washington governor’s Hire-A-Veteran Month proclamation.

“We are proud to call ourselves a military-friendly company, and we find that so many of the people who are right for the job are veterans,” said John Eschenberg, WRPS president and CEO. “Veterans are hardworking, innovative problem-solvers who bring a team-first attitude to the job each and every day. We are grateful to have the opportunity to help those who have done so much for us all.”

Many WRPS representatives who engage with job-seeking veterans are veterans themselves.

Jerry Kurtz, a manager in the company’s radiological controls organization who served as a submarine reactor operator in the U.S. Navy, is one of those representatives. He and his colleagues take part in several job fairs each year to recruit veterans. Each month they run a workshop where they share their experiences, review resumes, show how to translate skills learned in the military to the civilian world, and conduct mock job interviews.

“I know what these guys are going through as I’ve walked in their shoes,” Kurtz said. “For many of them, it’s been a long time since they put together a resume or had a job interview. I love helping.”

Over Veterans Day weekend, several WRPS veterans took part in a local parade to honor those who served.

“We were thankful for the opportunity to participate,” said Lisa Bunch, a WRPS human resources manager. “We greatly appreciate opportunities to work with organizations to help veterans, and we certainly won’t pass up the chance to celebrate and honor veterans.”

-Contributor: Mark McKenna

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Celebrating 30 Years of EM: Employee Spotlight


Annual Safety Expo Draws More Than 3,000 SRS Employees


Savannah River Site Safety Expo attendees take part in demonstrations, such as maneuvering objects in a glovebox.

AIKEN, S.C. – More than 3,000 employees attended the Savannah River Site (SRS) Safety Expo this fall, featuring 70 informational booths designed to educate and engage them in the site’s safety culture and performance.

Hosted by EM contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the annual two-day event brought participation from Savannah River Remediation, EM’s SRS liquid waste contractor; DOE’s Savannah River National Laboratory; the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service-Savannah River; and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.

“Every year, the SRS Safety Expo brings individuals from across the site together to engage in our workforce’s strong safety culture,” SRNS President and CEO Stuart MacVean said. “Involvement in these events is what empowers personnel with the knowledge necessary to continuously improve safety and health both on- and off-site.”


Employees sign in at the Savannah River Site Safety Expo.

Continuous development of the SRS safety culture is a longstanding legacy at the site. The SRS workforce established a strong commitment to safety performance when the site was developed in 1951 and despite changing missions over the decades, it remains an enduring core value for the more than 12,000-person workforce. The expo plays an important role in continuing that legacy with its focus on sustaining safety excellence through teamwork, education, and engagement.

This year’s event covered a variety of safety topics meant to increase employee awareness, ranging from cybersecurity and fire safety to driver and car seat safety.

-Contributor: Angie Benfield

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SRS Contractor Wins National Cyber Award for Innovation

AIKEN, S.C. – Barry McIntosh, a cybersecurity engineer for EM contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), received the Government Innovation Award for Public Sector Innovation last week for his work on a new cyber degree program at the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken).

The Government Innovation Awards organization described the Nov. 7 awards ceremony as a celebration of transformative government projects, individual change agents, and industry partners reimagining public-sector information technology.

McIntosh helped develop the degree program as part of an SRNS team at the Savannah River Site (SRS) that included Dan Farmer, John Walker, and John Bobbitt.

“The team was able to blend the perspectives of cyber operations, industrial controls cyber operations, software development, and cutting-edge cyber research conducted in the Savannah River National Laboratory,” McIntosh said.


Savannah River Nuclear Solutions cybersecurity engineer Barry McIntosh recently received the Government Innovation Award for Public Sector Innovation due to his contributions towards the creation of a cyber degree program at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

The need for qualified cyber professionals in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) helped make the case for the new undergraduate major for students studying Applied Computer Science. CSRA is a region that includes eight counties in South Carolina and 13 counties in Georgia. 

“At SRS, we have a growing demand for cyber professionals to protect the nation’s assets,” McIntosh said.

Over several months, the SRNS team worked with USC Aiken administrators and faculty, including Daren Timmons, provost and former dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering, to develop a new curriculum for the degree program.

“The synergy and strong motivational drive exhibited by the team members right from the start was inspirational,” Timmons said. “With the escalating number of cyberattacks experienced annually, we knew this new degree program in cybersecurity had to be part of our redesigned Applied Computer Science program here at USC Aiken.”

-Contributor: DT Townsend

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