NNSA looks to strengthen workforce through partnership program

October 10, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear News

Through its Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program (MSIPP) and Tribal Education Partnership Program (TEPP), the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has awarded five grants totaling $2.5 million to minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

About the program: The NNSA noted in an October 5 press release that the MSIPP is designed “to support the development of a diverse, highly skilled, and enduring stream of talented students who are working to advance America’s nuclear security.”

According to the agency, through its support of MSIs and TCUs, the MSIPP provides competitive grant awards with three-to-five-year periods of performance. The latest round of awards focused primarily on the development of trade and skilled labor in community colleges.

“MSIPP is setting the stage for an inclusive future, where we invest in students and communities across the nation,” said Jill Hruby, undersecretary for nuclear security and the NNSA’s administrator. “We have an unwavering dedication to creating a strong future American workforce. Through MSIPP, we are preparing people to contribute to critical and emerging technologies, ensuring America’s security, growth, and prosperity.”

Award winners: The five new awards consist of the following projects.

  • Enhancing the National Security Enterprise Workforce Pipeline, led by Augusta Technical College, in partnership with Savannah River National Laboratory. Augusta Technical College will enhance its curricula in radiation control and protection, will support and engage students enrolled in the programs, and will develop an apprenticeship program to support the NNSA’s national security workforce.
  • Native Education Excellence in Trades, led by Turtle Mountain Community College, in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories. Turtle Mountain Community College will enhance the educational curriculum for building construction and electrical trades in order to recruit and train a skilled workforce of American Indian and Alaska Native students ready to fill traditional and emerging positions in the nuclear security workforce.
  • Rapid Education and Placement, led by Las Positas College, in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Las Positas College will establish teams for curriculum development and implementation within the community college education program. Laboratory experts will collaborate with Las Positas College to enhance student skills and provide opportunities to benefit the future workforce.
  • NNSS FastStart, led by the College of Southern Nevada, in partnership with Nevada National Security Site. The College of Southern Nevada will increase the number of community college students who earn industry-recognized credentials, and will create a sustainable and scalable model of partnerships that lead to talent pathways, meeting regional and NNSA industry workforce needs.
  • Developing Next Generation Radiation Safety Professionals, led by Queensborough Community College, in partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory. Queensborough Community College will develop the next-generation workforce in nuclear safety, radiation safety, and health physics by creating a certificate program in radiation protection and supporting a pathway to a bachelor’s degree program.

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