Y-12 graduates third class of apprentices

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The Y-12 Apprentice Program recently celebrated its third graduating class with 27 participants gaining journeyman status.

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

“This program is a great way to transfer knowledge from our highly skilled workers to the new work force,” said National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office Manager Steve Erhart.

“The apprenticeship program has positioned Y-12 for the long-term to ensure our future production capabilities.”

Those graduating included electricians 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.

Also graduating were pipe fitters Lance Branum and Brandon Gibson; HVAC technicians Jonathan Bowling, Joshua Howard, Rodney Howard and Benjamin Kerwin; insulators Samuel Irwin and David White Jr.; and welder Joseph Riordian.

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.”

For more about the program, contact the Atomic Trades and Labor Council at 865-574-0153.