More options open for US workforce

23 August 2012

Nuclear-trained ex-servicemen and women from the US Navy should be able to seamlessly transition to employment in the country's civil nuclear power industry under a groundbreaking agreement between the US Naval Propulsion Program and representatives of the nuclear industry.

NEI-Navy partnership_200
Randy Edington of Arizona Public Service Co, Steve Trautman of the US Navy Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and Steve Kuczynski of Southern Nuclear Operating Co at the signing ceremony (Image: NEI)

The agreement of understanding, announced by US industry organisation the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), was signed on behalf of the Naval Propulsion Program by deputy director Steve Trautman. Some 31 nuclear industry representatives, including nuclear companies and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators, have added their names to the list of signatories.

The agreement forms the first ever formal partnership between the US Navy and the civilian industry aimed at helping nuclear-trained veterans to move into the domestic nuclear energy field, giving veterans the option of having their contact information forwarded directly to civil industry recruiters at the end of their service commitment.

The agreement works in two directions: it also allows the US Navy to recruit directly from the 38 partner colleges in the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCUP), a partnership which aims to ensure a pipeline of nuclear industry talent trained to high, consistent standards. NUCUP was founded following efforts by the NEI to address anticipated skills shortage in a growing US nuclear energy industry.

The US nuclear industry expects to hire some 25,000 more workers over the next five years, according to NEI senior vice president and chief nuclear officer Tony Pietrangelo. The new agreement "allows us to bring in experienced, highly skilled people who deserve rewarding civilian careers after selfless service to their country," he explained. "The beauty of this agreement is that it provides a multi-avenue flow for training the next generation of nuclear workers who can gain the skills and experience needed through formal education in or out of the military, on-the-job training or both that ensures a bright future in a growing industry," he said.

Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program deputy director Steve Trautman noted that the new agreement would facilitate the navy's access to NUCUP graduates while allowing former sailors to use their skills after leaving the service. "Both of these are right for the Navy and the nation," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

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