UCOR partners with college to fill cleanup roles

October 25, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
UCOR chemical operator apprentices (seated) take instruction at the Liquid and Gaseous Waste Operations at ORNL. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management cleanup contractor UCOR has increased its ability to recruit employees through a recent partnership with Tennessee’s Roane State Community College.

UCOR partnered with the local college in the joint Chemical Engineering Technology Program, which prepares students for careers as chemical operators. Since the program started in 2020, UCOR has hired 13 graduates who are supporting nuclear cleanup projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

“We’re a strong advocate for this program because we rely on an ample supply of well-trained chemical operators for successful completion of the cleanup mission,” said Mike Sensibaugh, operations manager for UCOR’s ORNL nuclear operations group.

Sensibaugh added that students gain requisite knowledge through their Roane State courses and on-the-job training at ORNL. Students work part-time during the school year and accept full-time jobs with UCOR upon graduation. They become fully qualified after graduation and completion of UCOR final training exams.

Success story: Roane State Community College president Chris Whaley noted that UCOR’s commitment to the partnership and the impact the company has on students. “Few companies in Roane State’s 10-county service area have actively supported student success and workforce development in the many ways that UCOR has,” he said. “Their team is truly making a difference in the lives of our students, while they are in school and in career opportunities after graduation.”

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