The first Kansas City Plant employees were hired in March 1949 and were faced with the task of getting the former Navy aircraft engine plant at the Bannister Federal Complex ready for its new role. First on the checklist was the removal of tons of sugar and tires being stored at the facility by a former tenant. By April 19, three machines had been wired and were ready for operation.
Three short days later, on April 21, the first part – an ordinary machined bushing – was produced. That simple part was the forerunner to the highly sophisticated and complicated components built in the years that followed.
This year, the National Nuclear Security Administration celebrates 65 years of dedication to national defense at its facilities in Kansas City, Missouri. While much has changed in the world in past six decades, KCP’s mission to deliver safe, secure, and reliable products is still the same.
Two children of Kansas City Plant employees were among 300 students from 38 countries selected to attend the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy.
Moe McClarren, daughter of Honeywell Analyst Marcia McClarren, and Michael Sebelski, son of Honeywell Engineers Brian and Sheryl Sebelski attended the week-long academy in March. This unique scholarship program uses interactive technology and science-oriented workshops and team exercises to teach students leadership skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the program engages students in team-building challenges such as building their own rockets and participating in simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions and a moon walk. Students also meet scientists, engineers, and former astronauts, who help reinforce core leadership competencies and share their first-hand experience.
Engineering has always been an in-demand skill at Pantex, and for six years, the Pantex College Pre-hire program has worked well to help meet the need. But the growing demand for employees in other hard-to-fill jobs has meant the program is branching out in a new direction.
Shane Rogers, who has managed the pre-hire program since it started in 2007, just returned from a month-long tour of seven colleges in Texas and New Mexico. In addition to engineers, Rogers was looking for scientists and IT professionals who had important knowledge they could bring to the plant.
This is the first year Rogers looked for computer science (CS) and computer information systems (CIS) majors, in addition to the traditional engineering, math and science majors. The number of high-paying jobs in the IT marketplace makes it extremely difficult to find and recruit people with that skill set.
The pre-hire program reaches out to juniors and seniors who will agree to come to work at Pantex, in exchange for reimbursement of tuition and fees for up to two years. A group of students are interviewed at the schools, then selected candidates are invited to come to Pantex for a second interview and a chance to see some of the work done at the plant. The first semester of the program in 2007, Rogers made offers to six students. This semester, he hopes to make 26 offers.
Recruiters visit a variety of schools proximate to Pantex, including West Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, University of Texas at El Paso, New Mexico State, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and University of New Mexico. Students from as far away as Tennessee and Maryland have been invited for onsite visits following phone interviews.
The Department of Energy’s Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR) formed a partnership with the Department of Defense and returning veterans through the Operation Warfighter (OWF) Program, offering active-duty veterans 120-day internships working among the federal workforce at the Savannah River Site (SRS).
SRS is a key DOE industrial complex dedicated to environmental cleanup, nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship, and nuclear materials disposition in support of the U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts. The site also develops and deploys technologies to support radiological and chemical cleanup activities following 40 years of producing materials used for nuclear weapons, primarily plutonium and tritium.
For the last six months, DOE-SR has hosted a small group veterans based out of the Army’s Ft. Gordon in nearby Augusta, Ga. The OWF veterans serve internships in occupational disciplines like contracting, safety and information technology.
About the photo:
Veterans gaining intern experience at Savannah River Site (from left): Yadira Bonilla-Cuevas, Terry Harris, Jonathan Ginsberg (Regional Coordinator, Operation Warfighter Program), Mark Spurlock, Dirck Moise and Deanna Yates, of the DOE Savannah River Operations Office, Office of Human Capital Management, recently met to discuss the intern program. Bonilla-Cuevas recently was hired as a federal employee after serving an Operation Warfighter internship. (DOE-SR Photo by Doug Aiken.)
Cooking dinner will be a lot easier for about 20 needy families in Amarillo thanks to the generosity of Pantexans, who used a grocery store promotion to secure more than $6,000 of cookware for a local charity.
More than 70 pots and pans were donated to local charities by Pantexans Scott and Lauri Minton, who had been collecting stickers donated by their coworkers. The stickers represent nearly $100,000 in groceries purchased from United Grocery Stores, an area chain that has been giving stickers redeemable for cookware since October.
Lauri Minton said she and her husband started collecting the stickers when they realized they did not need new pots and pans, but that there were people in Amarillo who did. The Mintons spread the word around the plant, and were quickly overwhelmed with the positive response.
As the promotion entered the final days, word spread through social media, and the pace of giving picked up even more.
The pots and pans – over 21 complete sets – were dropped off at Martha’s Home Friday, an Amarillo shelter that provides a place to live for homeless women with children while guiding them toward a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Several pots and pans were also donated to the Pantex Christmas Project, which has been providing Christmas gifts to needy families for more than 50 years.
The National Security Campus continues to receive accolades for an outstanding safety record during the move to its new, state-of-the art facility in Kansas City, Mo. In 2013, the NSC achieved its best safety performance on record despite moving thousands of employees and, literally, tons of equipment. The on-time, on-budget move is scheduled to be completed by August.
The National Safety Council presented NSC with the Perfect Record Award, which recognizes 12 months without an occupational injury or illness that resulted in days away from work. In addition, NSC recently obtained certification of OHSAS 18001 Standard for occupational health and safety assessment.
William H. Goldstein began his role this week as the new director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), which manages the Laboratory for NNSA, made the announcement March 27.
Appointed with the concurrence of the DOE and NNSA, Goldstein is the 12th director of the Laboratory since it was established in 1952. Goldstein also will serve as the president of LLNS, replacing Parney Albright, who stepped down as Laboratory director and LLNS president in November 2013.
About 300 employees of Savannah River Site management and operation contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions participated in the annual Central Savannah River Area Heart Walk, raising funds for the American Heart Association. SRNS employees raised $76,492, and SRNS donated $10,000.
The Cleantech Open, the world’s largest accelerator for clean technology start ups, hosted a regional networking event last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to do business with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories.
The event at the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), which is a joint initiative between both labs, drew an audience of 121 that included the private sector, lab researchers and economic development administrators. It consisted of two panel discussions on moving lab technologies to the market place, followed by a networking session.
Both laboratories, which cosponsored the event with the i-GATE Innovation Hub, have clean energy technologies for which they would like to find commercial partners to develop further.
About the photos:
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell gave opening remarks at the event. He said clean technology is important for region’s economy and that more partnerships should be formed between the public and private sectors.
The panel Discussion members are, from left: Brandon Cardwell, VP of i-GATE Innovation Hub, Brian Steel, cop direct of Cleatech to Market program, Rob Lamkin of Cool Earth Solar, Andy McIlroy, Sandia’s senior manager of the Livermore Valley Open Campus, and Betsy Cantwell, director of Economic Development at LLNL.
The most recent NNSA quarterly summary of experiments conducted as part of its science-based stockpile stewardship program is now available here.
The quarterly summary prepared by NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs provides descriptions of key NNSA facilities that conduct stockpile stewardship experiments. These include some of the most sophisticated scientific research facilities in the world including, the Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. The summary also provides the number of experiments performed at each facility during each quarter of the fiscal year.
The U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program is a robust program of scientific inquiry used to sustain and assess the nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear tests. The experiments carried out within the program are used in combination with complex computational models and NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program to assess the safety, security and effectiveness of the stockpile. An extraordinary set of science, technology and engineering (ST&E) facilities have been established in support of the stockpile stewardship program.