Mon, May 20, 2024

The I.T. workforce of tomorrow in the CSRA

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Information Technology (IT) Youth Apprenticeship opportunity is underway after 16 area high school students toured IT facilities at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

“We have worked closely with the Aiken County Public School District to give each of these high-performing tech students the chance to become the first IT Youth Apprentice,” said Tim Arnold, SRNS Senior IT Manager. “Employed students will complete their high school curriculum while gaining hands-on experience alongside our employees.”

North Augusta High School (NAHS) students enrolled in the Advanced Computer Services and Repairs, Dell Student TechCrew, perform daily tasks in advanced computer repair and diagnostics. In the past three years, NAHS TechCrew students have successfully repaired nearly 2,000 devices for the school district.

“This life-changing opportunity with SRS seemed fitting for my students who are eager to gain employment their senior year,” said Michelle O’Rourke, NAHS Instructor. “All students on the TechCrew are Dell-certified and have a ton of experience repairing computers for our school district.”

Patrick Reynolds, President of Crosslink Consulting and an ABD contributor for IT and cybersecurity is an advocate of programs like the SRNS IT youth apprentice experience.

“Apprenticeships can instill the vision students need to formulate and understand their WHY. As far as I can tell, an attractive salary is not enough to sustain you in a job that is not fulfilling and meaningful. A great internship that demonstrates the impact one can have serving and securing our neighbors will compel many students to commit themselves to the rigorous learning that a career in IT and Cyber demands. All of that has to be learned outside of the classroom through apprenticeships, co-op programs, and on-the-job training,” said Reynolds.

SRNS Education Outreach coordinated the tour of the PC Administration Facility and the Central Computing Facility. Students learned how computers are assembled, configured, and prepared for distribution to employees across the Site.

“The ultimate goal for this program is to hire youth apprentices to learn the ins and outs of our IT department,” said Sean Alford, Executive Vice President and Chief of Administration. “Any chance we have to connect with students at the high school level is a benefit to our organization and the job pipeline we are building, year after year.”

After the tour, SRNS personnel visited NAHS to train students in proper interview etiquette and the SRS hiring process.

SRNS plans to make their selection for the Youth Apprenticeship by June 2024. The 12- to 15-month program will allow the participant to complete on-the-job IT training. After completing the program, the apprentice will earn a certificate from the Department of Labor.

For more information about SRS Apprenticeship School, click here.

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at mitzioxfordcreative@gmail.com.

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