Y-12 Apprentice Program celebrates third graduating class

Posted: March 12, 2014 - 6:33am

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The Y‑12 Apprentice Program recently celebrated its third graduating class as 27 participants gained their journeyman status. The program was restarted in 2008 after an almost 30-year hiatus.

Each graduate spent three to four years with a journeyman and attended between 144 and 246 hours of classroom training each year on his or her own time, usually in the evenings at local union halls.

"This program is a great way to transfer knowledge from our highly skilled workers to the new work force," said NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart. "The apprenticeship program has positioned Y‑12 for the long-term to ensure our future production capabilities."

Certificates of achievement went to 18 electricians, 2 pipe fitters, 4 HVAC technicians, 2 insulators, and 1 welder. The graduates are among those chosen from more than 2,600 applicants in 2008. The program has a remaining 55 participants, who will graduate in the coming years.

"I commend you for choosing a career path that gives you skills essential to our missions at Y‑12 and to the U.S. manufacturing industry as a whole," said B&W Y‑12 President and General Manager Dave Richardson. "The country has a shortage of skilled craft workers, and Y‑12 is not exempt from that shortage."

Those graduating include Adam Braden, Daniel Brown, Jessica Griffin, Kevin Christmas, Benjamin Dickerson, Erin Earley, David Gates, Chris Hackworth, Jason Harris, Richard Henry, Raymond Hutzler, Kristie Lee, Michael Lopez, Lee McCurry, Tommy Melhorn, Donna Whitson, Cinnamon Williams and Zachary Yost as electricians; Lance Branum and Brandon Gibson as pipe fitters; Jonathan Bowling, Joshua Howard, Rodney Howard and Benjamin Kerwin as HVAC technicians; Samuel Irwin and David White, Jr. as insulators; and Joseph Riordian as a welder.

For more information regarding the program, contact the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

Follow Y-12 on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.