Washington, DC -- The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the launch of a new mentoring program that will apply 21st century tools to invigorate learning and promote the transfer of institutional knowledge across the nuclear security enterprise. The mentoring program will use an interactive website and database to connect mentors to mentees in NNSA facilities across the country, helping employees identify the skills they need to learn and the colleagues who can teach them.
So far, 67 employees, including NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino and more than a dozen senior executives, have signed up to serve as mentors. Registration for mentees will begin this week.
"At NNSA, our people are our greatest asset, and we must make sure we're doing everything we can to preserve and share knowledge as our highly skilled workforce transforms," said Michael Kane, Associate Administrator for NNSA's Office of Management and Administration. "Our ability to implement the President's unprecedented nuclear security agenda depends on our ability to recruit and retain the next generation of nuclear security professionals and ensure that they have the tools they need to succeed."
Roughly 28 percent of NNSA employees will be eligible for retirement by 2012. Through a number of programs, the agency is aggressively recruiting the next generation of nuclear security professionals to ensure NNSA can safely, securely and effectively maintain the nation's nuclear stockpile without testing, prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and material, power the nuclear Navy, counter nuclear terrorism and respond to radiological emergencies in the United States and around the globe.
Mentoring is a centerpiece of NNSA's efforts to strengthen learning and development in its current workforce and to improve recruitment of new staff. It is modeled after mentoring programs offered in the private sector.
The web-based program helps mentees assess their professional development needs, find appropriate mentors and schedule sessions. Subjects may range from science and engineering to business and management skills. The website also offers training to help mentors learn how best to convey their knowledge and experience to others.
While NNSA is encouraging senior leaders to participate, mentoring will be incorporated into development programs designed for employees at all levels, so that it becomes a part of the employee life cycle at NNSA.
The mentoring program will be available to federal employees at all nine NNSA sites, including headquarters in Washington, D.C. This will allow employees at different physical locations to match skills to needs without geographic boundaries. Mentoring will be available in person as well as by phone, video or Internet.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/  for more information.
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