CNS Community Investment Fund surpasses $1 million in giving

  • Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 8:58 am

Y-12 employees designated more than $120,000 for East Tennessee organizations in 2022

Jason Bohne, CNS senior director of Communications
Jason Bohne, CNS senior director of Communications, speaks at the CNS Community Investment Fund grant ceremony held at Y-12 October 17.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Twenty-two East Tennessee nonprofits received a total of $121,600 from the Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) Community Investment Fund at a ceremony October 17.

Since 2015, the fund has awarded 180 grants to more than 120 non-profit organizations and educational institutions in 20 East Tennessee counties, totaling a combined $1.04 million.

The Community Investment Fund is a partnership between CNS, the managing and operating contractor of Y-12 National Security Complex, and the East Tennessee Foundation.

“Y-12 National Security Complex is invested in our community, and our partnership with the East Tennessee Foundation supports nonprofits that are accomplishing vital work,” said Gene Sievers, Y-12 site manager. “This year marks a significant milestone in our corporate giving, and we are pleased to announce new grants to 22 nonprofits.”

“This year, our grant committee chose to focus on organizations that provide support and development for early childhood education, at-risk youth, and young adults; support for immigrants to East Tennessee; and support for teachers.” said Y-12 Community Investment Advisory Committee Chair Jamie Uptgraft. “It’s an honor to provide grants to these organizations who work so diligently to improve the lives of East Tennesseans.”

Recipients provide services to 20 counties

Grant recipients’ work will reach 20 East Tennessee counties, with 13 of the grants covering multiple counties. This year’s recipients are as follows:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, to support school readiness for pre-kindergarten youth at Lonsdale Elementary School;
  • Bridge Refugee Services’ Refugee Occupancy Opportunity Funding [ROOF], that supplements costs for housing;
  • CASA of the Tennessee Heartland for the Fostering Futures Initiative, which provides volunteer mentors to empower foster youth between the ages of 14-18;
  • Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, Inc., Office of Immigrant Services, to provide low- and pro-bono legal assistance to immigrants;
  • Communities in Schools of the Appalachian Highlands, Building Resiliency through Integrated Student Supports, to place coordinators in schools to assist at-risk students in Cocke and Hamblen counties;
  • Community Tutoring, to enlarge their territory to provide academic support to more students;
  • Freedom Village of Hope, East Tennessee Freedom Schools, to fund a six-week summer enrichment program to increase reading competency;
  • Friends of Literacy’s Literacy to Go program, that aims to reduce literacy disparities;
  • Girl Talk, Inc., Life Prep Academy, to prepare 10th- through 12th-grade girls for life after high school;
  • Helen Ross McNabb Foundation, for school-based behavioral health services at Willow Brook Elementary School;
  • HOLA Lakeway’s Immigrant/Refugee Transition Program, to provide support to immigrants and refugee families by assisting families through various transitions;
  • Knoxville Area Urban League’s Healthy Minds Healthy Hearts, to provide minority high school students with the necessary support and strategies to prioritize their mental and emotional health;
  • Koinonia Foundation Tennessee for Koinonia Classroom, a virtual learning program created for classroom use by special education teachers;
  • Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, to support youth by determining their exposure to adverse childhood experiences, develop positive coping strategies, and to get the help they need;
  • Metro Drug Coalition, to implement mental health first-aid training for teachers, administrators, and school resource officers;
  • Oak Ridge Schools’ Preschool/Head Start for Conscious Discipline Teacher Support, to provide continued systematic group training and individual coaching to staff serving approximately 200 children;
  • Our Place Art Organization, Inc., Career Readiness Program, which provides transitional-age youth and young adults (ages 14-22) tools to develop independence on their journey to adulthood;
  • SafeSpace School Violence Prevention Program, to provide violence prevention education to students in the Sevier County School System;
  • Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) Changing STRIDES Life Skills program, which provides the tools for at-risk youth (ages 12-19) to better manage their lives and foster positive relationships;
  • Shora Foundation’s Academic Center, to provide mental health and educational resources and access to food; and
  • Street Hope TN, to provide free exploitation-prevention programming for children and youth throughout Tennessee.

Fund is employee directed

CNS worked with the East Tennessee Foundation to create an innovative and effective method for contributing to the community in a way that would also better engage Y-12 employees. The Y-12 Community Investment Fund was established in 2015.

“We are honored to be part of the East Tennessee community,” said Jason Bohne, CNS senior director of Communications. “As we pass $1 million in giving since the Community Investment Fund began, we are proud of the many ways the fund has made a difference in the lives of our neighbors thanks to the commitment and compassion of our non-profit partners.”

Y-12 employees who serve on the Community Investment Fund committee are chosen to serve two-year terms to represent their colleagues. Twenty employees participated in 2022. Members of the committee reviewed dozens of grant proposals, conducted non-profit staff interviews, and made site visits before recommending funding.

“As an employee, I appreciate that CNS allows us to help determine how they invest in the community,” said Uptgraft. “Participating in this process has been incredibly rewarding.”

CNS Community Investment Grant Recipients are pictured following the grant ceremony.
CNS Community Investment Grant Recipients are pictured following the grant ceremony.


Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC operates the Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under a single contract for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. CNS member companies include Bechtel National, Inc.; Leidos, Inc.; ATK Launch Systems, Inc.; and SOC LLC. Pantex and Y-12 are key facilities in the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, and CNS performs its work with a focus on performance excellence and the imperatives of safety, security, zero defects, and delivery as promised.

For more information on each site, visit or Follow Pantex on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Follow Y-12 on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Kathryn King, APR
Office (865) 315.5996

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