Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Syreeta Vaughn to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Advisory Board in December.
Vaughn, a graduate of UT, has served on the Earth and Planetary Science Board for more than 10 years. “I have had the honor and pleasure of seeing the EPS department grow and thrive,” Vaughn said. “Through my service and homegrown connection to the community, I have had a unique opportunity to see the impact UT has made on the community, students, and in my life.”
Vaughn has set her goal to be similar to what Haslam has envisioned. “Originally, UT had one board to support the entire UT collegiate system. Governor Haslam’s vision is that the four-board approach will afford us (the members) with the opportunity to meet UTK specific campus needs. As a UTK alumnus, I can only hope the small role that I will play as a member of this board will make a small impact both in the community and within UT.”
Pantex and the Y-12 National Security Complex were recently named veteran-friendly employers. The Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Veterans Commission honored Pantex with the distinction in 2018, and the Tennessee Veterans Business Association recognized Y-12 in January. Together, Pantex and Y-12 employ more than 1,800 veterans.
Veterans serve in a range of roles at the sites, everything from security police officers to machinists to weapons assembly/disassembly operators to engineers. “Working at Y-12 has allowed me to continue my service to the nation in a meaningful way,” said Tom Tress, who served as a helicopter mechanic in the Marine Corps and is now a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt working on process improvement initiatives at the site. “I believe strongly in our nuclear deterrence mission.”
Sherry Philyaw, retired senior chief petty officer who now manages infrastructure assessments and corrective actions at Pantex, finds continuity in her military and Pantex careers through the structure and formality of processes. “To assure the dependability of every single one of our products, we have to follow procedures and policies, just like in the Navy,” she said. “We check and double check everything. Our customer has to know without a doubt that the product we deliver will be exactly what they are expecting.”
In addition to veterans, Pantex and Y-12 employ active-duty Reserve and National Guardsmen and women who are often deployed on tours of duty around the world.
“Military service builds skills that are very valuable to employers,” said Heather Freeman, Pantex Human Resources site manager. “Veterans have training in leadership, teamwork, loyalty, decision making, and technical skills. They have real-life experience, work well under pressure, are responsible, have a strong work ethic, and can interact with a variety of people. It is a great investment for both employers and those who have served our country.”
Moreover, since July 2014, Consolidated Nuclear Security, the managing contractor of Pantex and
Additive manufacturing isn’t new to CNS, but three new machines recently found their home in a Y-12 production facility, and that location is new.
Susan Baker of Fabrication Operations said, “These machines provide a great opportunity for our employees to learn how this technology works and how we can apply it to optimize design and fabrication of tooling and fixtures.”
These newest machines are the first for Y-12 Production personnel to use and will be able to produce fixtures and support items for more widespread use in Y-12 Operations. A fourth machine, with a larger build volume, will be soon operational. Two similar machines already are in operation in an Engineering laboratory for prototypes and demonstrations.
Congratulations to the newest Y‑12 Security Police Officers.
Y-12 graduated its newest Tactical Response Force I class in November. These Protective Force members completed standard basic training for the DOE Security Police Officer upon entry into the DOE/NNSA Protective Force community. The training focuses on individual and team tactical combat skills necessary to protect safeguards and security interests.
Central Training Facility Manager Dave Fritz said, “The class of 14 successfully completed the eight‑week paramilitary force course that included classroom training and extensive practical application in areas such as handgun and rifle manipulation, close‑quarters battle, and a tactical obstacle course.”
The new SPOs also attended Y-12–specific training that included routine and emergency vehicle operations, tactical causality care, officer survival, and surveillance/reconnaissance.
“These SPOs will receive several weeks of on‑site and on‑the‑job training when they report to Y-12 for duty,” Fritz said. “The class boasted an overall 95 percent average on weapons qualifications, which is well above of the required DOE 70 percent minimum.”
Katie Roberts, of Y-12’s Supply Chain Management was recently named one of Knox.biz magazine’s 40 Under 40 honorees and will be recognized at an awards ceremony in January.
An early career leader, Roberts is already making her mark on CNS and the community through professional accomplishments and service work.
Roberts said she finds the recognition humbling and a reason to further improve Y-12 operations. “My goal is to leave the site better than I found it,” she said. “That can be an improved process, building teamwork and trust, delivering better customer service, you name it.”
As the site’s Materials Management manager, she developed and implemented a new Supply Chain Shipping, Receiving, and Order Fulfillment center to establish a cradle to grave materials management capability. This project allows CNS to operate more like Amazon — rapid delivery and tracking of materials and user friendly customer support.
Along with her professional accomplishments, Roberts was recognized for her dedication to the community, including her role on the CNS Community Investment Advisory Committee.
Skip Skelton, who heads Supply Chain Management and nominated Roberts, said what sets her apart is her willingness to take on challenging projects and her ability to work well with others. “Katie’s ability to establish and grow relationships — with her employees as well as internal and external customers — fosters an environment that not only achieves results but also improves employee motivation and morale,” he said.