Pantex Blog

Pantex donates to WOWW Science Collaborative

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 16:24

Pantexans Stephanie Steelman, Bruce Phebus, and Berenice Pitre presented science excitement and education during the Window on a Wider World (WOWW) science collaborative this month.

This event is being held throughout the month of November at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon. The collaborative is an opportunity for fifth graders from the area to learn more about science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers in a hands-on way from scientists working at Pantex, Bell Helicopter and other companies.

Pantex presented $5,000 to Window On a Wider World on November 11 to support the ongoing WOWW Science Collaborative efforts.

Pantex donates to WOWW Science Collaborative
Pantex donates to WOWW Science Collaborative
Pantex donates to WOWW Science Collaborative
Pantex donates to WOWW Science Collaborative
Pantex donates to WOWW Science Collaborative

Pantexans welcome home veterans

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 16:12

Pantex was proud to take part in the biggest ever 12th Annual Veteran’s Welcome Home Event on November 9. Sponsored by the Amarillo VA Healthcare system, the event was started as a way to thank local veterans for their service by welcoming them home no matter when, or where they served.

In addition to the free burger and entertainment at the event, Pantex volunteers and local Boy Scouts passed out about 1,000 cookies to veterans; including some Pantexan veterans who stopped by to say hello.

Emergency Management’s Bill Easley-Mcpherson also had a radioactive materials display for families to learn more about RAD science and safety.

12th Annual Veteran’s Welcome Home Event
12th Annual Veteran’s Welcome Home Event
12th Annual Veteran’s Welcome Home Event
12th Annual Veteran’s Welcome Home Event

Pantexans give back during Month of Volunteering

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 15:54

Each year, Consolidated Nuclear Security employees work in their communities to support charitable and non profit organizations. This year, the Pantex and Y-12 Day of Volunteering moved from a spring event to the fall, and instead of just one designated day, teams volunteered on projects throughout the entire month of October.

Month of Volunteering 2019

At Pantex, nine projects were supported and ranged from sprucing up the Botanical Gardens for the holiday season to building a wheelchair ramp for a local citizen to allow recipients to access their home safely and independently.

Below are the highlights from each of the Pantex projects for 2019:

• Amarillo Botanical Gardens – setting up for the holiday season by clearing out annual plants, general cleaning, and hanging holiday lights.
• Amarillo United Citizens Forum – cleaned around the exterior of the building and repainted parking lot stripes in two lots. This was a partnership with Bright Stripes, a local restriping business, and the Amarillo Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
• American Red Cross & Boy Scouts of America – installed 211 smoke alarms in the San Jacinto neighborhood.
• Downtown Women's Center shelters & Ronald McDonald House – sewed pillowcases that will be presented to the residents.
• Faith City Mission – served lunch to Amarillo’s homeless community.
• High Plains Food Bank – prepared the gardens for the next season by pulling weeds and cleaning garden beds.
• Snack Pak 4 Kids – packed snack pack bags at the Snack pack warehouse. This program serves more than 10,000 kids in 51 school districts.
• Southwest Ambuc – assembled Amtrykes, therapeutic tryciclyes that will be given to disabled children to provide exercise and improve mobility
• Texas Ramp Project – built a wheelchair ramp for a local resident

Each year, Consolidated Nuclear Security employees work in their communities to support charitable and non profit organizations. This year, the Pantex and Y-12 Day of Volunteering moved from a spring event to the fall, and instead of just one designated day, teams volunteered on projects throughout the entire month of October.

At Pantex, nine projects were supported and ranged from sprucing up the Botanical Gardens for the holiday season to building a wheelchair ramp for a local citizen to allow recipients to access their home safely and independently.

Below are the highlights from each of the Pantex projects for 2019.

Month of Volunteering 2019

On October 11, a team of volunteers kicked off the month of volunteering by constructing a wheelchair ramp for a local resident with the Texas Ramp Project. The Texas Ramp Project’s mission is to build wheelchair ramps for those who find their steps a barrier. Almost every day our volunteers somewhere in the state are building a ramp for an elderly or disabled person who needs one. Our ramps allow recipients to leave their home safely and independently, especially if there is a fire or other emergency. They provide relief to families and caregivers, and they allow people to remain at home, aging in place surrounded by those who love them.

Volunteers worked at the Amarillo United Citizens Forum on October 19 to clean around the exterior of the building and re-paint parking lot stripes in the two lots. The group partnered with Bright Stripes, a local restriping small business, and the Amarillo Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

On October 22 volunteers gathered at the Snack Pak for Kids warehouse to pack bags. The Snack Pak for Kids program has grown to serve more than 10,000 kids in 51 school districts. Snack Paks always contain brand new, brand-name food. And, thanks to generous partnerships and a steady stream of volunteers, 100% of all donations given to SP4K are used to purchase food for hungry children and Snack Pak’s mission is “to end weekend hunger for children by providing a backpack filled with kid-friendly snacks each Friday of the year.”

A team met up on October 24, to benefit Southwest Ambuc by assembling Amtrykes - therapeutic tricycles that will be given to disabled children to provide exercise and improve mobility.

October 25 was a busy day for volunteers as four different team worked around the community.

Month of Volunteering 2019

The first team met at the Potter County Extension Office to sew pillowcases that will be presented to the Downtown Women's Center shelters and Ronald McDonald House in Amarillo. This project was part of a challenge issued online to quilters, crafters and sewers to donate 1 million pillowcases to local charities.

Faith City Mission was also the recipient of volunteer efforts on October 25, with volunteers serving lunch to Amarillo’s homeless community. Faith City serves three hot meals Monday through Saturday and ministers to men, women, and children who have fallen on hard times. They are either homeless, battling addiction, or experiencing some type of poverty. All of Faith City's programs are designed to take a person from crisis to stability, and in the end, enable them to live on their own.

A third team met at the gardens of the High Plains Food Bank on October 25 and helped to prepare the gardens for next season by pulling weeds and cleaning garden beds.

And the fourth team that worked on October 25 assisted the Amarillo Botanical Gardens with setting up for the Holiday season, clearing out annual plants, general cleaning, and hanging holiday lights.

Month of Volunteering 2019

On October 26, volunteers worked with American Red Cross & Boy Scouts of America to install battery operated smoke detectors in the San Jacinto neighborhood. This project was an Eagle Scout Project for Adrian Avila and the day was officially proclaimed by the Amarillo City Government as “Adrian Avila’s Eagle Scout Day.” There were approximately 50 volunteers from various organizations that came out to lend a hand. Adrian was able to complete the final phase of his Eagle Scout Project, and said he couldn’t have done it without the wonderful people of the Amarillo community.

As a result of this program and media coverage surrounding this particular project, 211 smoke alarms were installed in the San Jacinto neighborhood on this one day. Adrian was asked to continue this program apart from his Boy Scout activities, and graciously accepted. There were 300 smoke alarms purchased for this event leaving 89 yet to be installed. The American Red Cross has been receiving requests from the community for smoke alarms, and on November 16, Adrian and the Knights of Columbus Council 4621 plan to complete installing the remaining 89 smoke alarms. Several Pantexans have volunteered to assist on that day as well.

Pantexans named to Top 20 under 40

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 13:45

Congratulations to Pantexans Christopher Whitmer and Ryan Johnston who were recognized by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce as members of the Top 20 Under 40.

The award is given annually to area early career professionals who demonstrate professional excellence and bring value to the Amarillo business community.

Christopher Whitmer

Whitmer has worked at Pantex for more than 5.5 years and is a registered professional engineer in the state of New Mexico. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a master of science in industrial engineering.
“I’m very proud to have won the award, and I’m proud to represent CNS in doing so,” Whitmer said.

Currently, Whitmer is on a rotational assignment with Enterprise Independent Assessment Program as a lead assessor. In this role, he establishes the necessary technical competency to adequately and effectively assess engineering-related activities at Pantex. Whitmer was the founding chairman of the Pantex Outreach and Leadership Organization (POLO), an early career professional organization for employees in STEM fields. POLO focuses on career development, networking, community service, and teambuilding principles.

He encourages early career professionals to show initiative and get the job done.

“Take it upon yourself to learn as much as you can from your peers. Also, make opportunities for yourself. Really show leadership that you want to be here and continue to learn and you want to continue to succeed,” Whitmer said.

His peer and co-honoree Johnston is a Small Business Program manager in the Socioeconomic Programs Office at Pantex. He is responsible for establishing relationships with local and national small businesses, assisting development of bid lists, and encouraging and increasing small business participation. He holds a B.A. in supply chain management from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Ryan Johnston

Johnston’s most recent accomplishment is the establishment of the first mentor-protégé agreement for CNS at Pantex. Working with small businesses allows large organizations to provide guidance, training, and business development, allowing the small companies to grow and eventually compete with larger businesses for federal contracts.

Johnston has 13 years of commercial and government procurement experience. Prior to joining Pantex, he worked at several facilities including the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Plant in Idaho, the Waste Treatment Plant in Washington, and the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Colorado. His experience includes purchasing, materials management, Six Sigma, and expediting.

Johnston advises other early career professionals to try different things.

“Just because you have a degree or higher education in one field doesn’t mean don’t try something else. I always thought I would be designing how to roll product from one shelf to another shelf because that’s what my degree was in,” Johnston said. “I don’t do that now, and I love what I do, and I’ve done a lot of different things. Everything I’ve tried has built my knowledge a little bit more. So instead of just a small piece of what the supply chain needs, I can see a wider view of it, and it’s really helped me out.”

Johnston had a mentor who has influenced his career and the advice he received has stuck with him throughout his career.

“When I was at Hanford, I had a wonderful mentor, Ian Petterson. He taught me to chase ideas. When we would go to staff meetings, no matter who would ask the question, he would always say, ‘Ok, let’s think that through,’ and we’d think through every step. He taught us to sit back and think about it from a different angle, think about it how someone else would think of it. That has changed the way I’ve viewed things. It’s the best advice I ever got.”

To be eligible, along with being under the age of 40, the candidates must be employed in the area for at least three years, and in the same field, though not necessarily at the same businesses. Nominations were received through the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce website, and the winners were selected by judges who reviewed nominations and picked the top 20 award winners as up-and-coming Amarillo professionals who are standouts in their professions.

Local business keeps Pantex rolling

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 12:25

Casters of Amarillo, Inc. is a female, veteran owned business that keeps Pantex rolling along, literally. They are a local distributor for casters, wheels and material handling equipment and fulfill special orders that meet the needs of Pantex.

Karen Hicks, President of Casters of Amarillo, said the company has been working with Pantex since at least 1991 when she took over the company from her parents who started the business in 1974.

Karen is a retired Lt. Col in the Army, and served 11 years active duty in military intelligence along with time in a civil affairs unit and reserve training unit in Lubbock.

She said the relationship with Pantex is special because of what is done here.

“There’s a kindred spirit,” she said. “We’re happy we can be of service to Pantex. It’s a vendor relationship, but it’s also a service relationship. It’s like the Army and military – it’s all about service.”

Casters of Amarillo, Inc.

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