WASHINGTON – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its employees are taking part in events throughout the summer that will help Hispanic high school students develop the confidence and skills they need to achieve a college education and move on to a professional career.
The Hispanic Youth Symposium , which is sponsored by the Hispanic College Fund, is part of a larger NNSA campaign to support workforce development that could help encourage the next generation of nuclear security professionals to pursue careers at NNSA. NNSA has contributed more than $400,000 to help underwrite symposiums since 2007. This year, as many as 2,000 students are participating in the multiday motivational symposiums being held in eight cities.
“President Obama and Secretary Chu have made educating America’s youth and empowering them to take on careers in the areas like math, science, technology and engineering a major priority,” said NNSA’s Assistant Administrator for Management and Administration Gerald L. Talbot, Jr. “It is critical for an agency like NNSA to develop the pool of skilled candidates that will comprise the next generation of nuclear security professionals.”
More than 90 percent of the students who attend a Hispanic Youth Symposium go on to college, and more than 40 percent end up choosing careers in science, technology, engineering or math, professions that are critical for the NNSA workforce
The Hispanic College Fund sponsors symposiums at select colleges across the country to help talented Hispanic high school students develop the confidence and skills they need to achieve a college education and move on to a professional career. The program was founded in 2004 to encourage college attendance for a group that is historically underrepresented in American colleges and universities.
NNSA’s chief learning officer Jeffrey Vargas helped found the program when he served as the Department of Energy’s Hispanic Employment Program Manager. He recently served as keynote speaker at the symposium at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Fred Soto, a manager in NNSA’s Office of Diversity Programs, also spoke at the Dallas symposium as well as a symposium in Albuquerque, N.M. Other NNSA personnel will participate in symposiums throughout the summer.
The next symposium will be held July 7-10 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
For more information on the Hispanic Youth Symposium, visit: http://www.hispanicyouth.org/ .
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.