New hands-on training at Y-12 boosts Sustainability and Stewardship initiatives

  • Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022, 8:36 am

Y-12 employees participate in hands on training
Y-12 employees participate in hands on training at the new salvage yard as part of Sustainability and Stewardship’s expanded program.

Training courses completed on the computer are often necessary, but nothing is better than getting employees into the field for actual hands on learning sessions. The Sustainability and Stewardship program had this in mind when they expanded their training and created an area in the new salvage yard to be used as a mock training space to supplement current classroom and online training courses.

“This training allows the program to be successful,” explained Donna Cozart, generator services supervisor for Sustainability and Stewardship. “The hands on approach is beneficial due to being interactive and engaging, and potential issues can be worked through at the time. It promotes confidence in the ability to perform the job successfully.”

The Sustainability and Stewardship organization establishes and maintains company wide programs and services to support environmental sustainability operations. The organization supports compliance in the plant by managing universal waste and improves the environment by reducing and diverting waste that is still generated to a recycle or reuse outlet where possible. The program also implements stewardship practices, which are the programs that take care of legacy issues and assist in preventing the formation of additional problematic areas.

In an effort to improve compliance, safety knowledge, and processes for sustainable material disposition, the salvage yard training space was born. The space is located in the original salvage yard, which is used to process materials and store low level waste. When the Sustainability and Stewardship organization realized they needed a space for trainees to get their hands dirty, they worked for months to plan, schedule, develop the training modules, and execute the new mock training within the current yard.

“Developing these modules will ultimately assist our personnel in improving their knowledge, which will in turn assist the plant in improving environmental compliance,” explained Jan Jackson, Sustainability and Stewardship manager.

The Sustainability and Stewardship program handles more than one million pounds of material, on average, each month in a variety of ways. So adding additional training preparation and execution was not taken lightly.

“The hands on training is a big time commitment,” said Jackson. “But the experience employees gain by handling material is well worth it. It also helps to strengthen our team, and supports our continuous improvement efforts and sustainability/resiliency goals.”

Y-12 employees participate in hands on training
Y-12 employees participate in hands on training at the new salvage yard.