About 40 Cub and Boy Scouts from Amarillo recently had the chance to tour the Pantex visitor’s center and learn more about the history of the plant and its mission.
The scouts, from Troops 86 and 702, are part of the Golden Spread Council, and executive scout assistant Bob Altman said this kind of opportunity will have long reaching effects.
“We’re thrilled to be able to come out here. These young men are excited to be here, and you never know what seed was planted in the minds of these scouts. They may even work out here someday. This is really a great opportunity for them.”
Along with the tour, the Golden Spread council received a check for $1,000 from Consolidated Nuclear Security in support of their organization.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC was a proud corporate sponsor of the recent Women of Distinction award luncheon hosted by Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains. The event is an annual celebration of influential women in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles who support Girl Scout leadership programs.
Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert (third from right) was joined at the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction award luncheon by Pantexans Jessie Phifer, Halianne Crawford, Brandy Ramirez, Courtney Waddell, Mig Owens, Rebecca Heinen and Christa Glasgow
Savannah Gates, a former Pantex process engineer, was honored with the Discover Award for her work on a tiny house project. Gates, along with Pantex engineers Rebecca Heinen, Brandy Ramirez and Courtney Waddell, joined forces with Girl Scouts and community volunteers to turn an old camper into a tiny home for a woman in need. Pantexans have also demonstrated their commitment to Girl Scouts through the S’More Engineering and Smart Cookies programs.
Savannah Gates, former Pantex engineer, accepts the Discover Award at the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award luncheon.
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) managing and operating contractor of Pantex, held a hiring event Aug. 8 at the Amarillo College Business and Industry Center. Thanks to partnerships with the Texas Workforce Solutions Panhandle and Amarillo College, the first‑of‑its‑kind hiring event for Pantex was a success.
Workforce Solutions Panhandle helped spread the word through social media that Pantex was looking to fill more than 100 open positions. Would be job‑seekers from as far away as Florida and Arizona made their way to Amarillo for the chance of landing a job at Pantex.
Hiring managers screened and interviewed candidates for jobs in accounting, engineering, emergency management, information technology, maintenance, medical, production, quality, radiation safety, supply chain and utilities.
CNS Director of Workforce Strategies Heather Freeman said they were very pleased with the turnout, with potential employees lining up in droves for a Pantex job.
“The event was a success because we were able to meet and interview so many local, regional and out‑of‑state candidates. Hiring managers conducted about 175 interviews on‑the‑spot,” she said. These new jobs would add to the 3,100 people the Plant already employs.
Job offers have already been extended and accepted for several positions. In fact, the majority of offers are expected to be sent out within the next two weeks.
“We were very pleased with the response to the event and expect to make offers over the next two weeks from candidates we interviewed at the event. Additionally, we have begun scheduling on‑site interviews for candidates we met at the event, but were not able to interview that day,” added Freeman.
Plans for future hiring events haven’t been finalized yet, but with the amount of interest shown at the initial offering, organizers will consider holding more of these events to find qualified candidates to help carry out the important Pantex mission.
“We will definitely consider doing like events in the future,” Freeman said.
Ken Guess recently joined Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC as the director of Nuclear Safety Oversight. A 25-year submarine officer in the U.S. Nuclear Navy, Guess’ most recent position was as Power Ascension Test Director in the Operational Readiness department for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2.
“I’m excited to be starting a second career here,” Guess said. “Organizations that have aging infrastructures like Y-12 and Pantex have challenges. My goal is to continue the focus on the mission, ensuring we’re all doing the best job we can for the security of our country.”
Bill Heineken, director of Nuclear Operations Support, said, “I enjoyed that Ken has been an end user of both Pantex and Y-12 products. While in charge of those products, he had complete confidence in their quality and efficacy.”
Guess said, “As a strategic weapons officer on a missile submarine, we were ready to execute. I never even remotely doubted that the weapons systems would work as advertised.”
Heineken said, “Ken’s role is to integrate and execute the nuclear safety role and conduct of operations at the enterprise level. In searching for someone to hold this role, we wanted to make sure we had the right person to meet this challenge.”
Guess earned his bachelor of science and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Houston, respectively. He also earned technical nuclear power certifications from the Navy Nuclear Power School and Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit.
Article by Jim Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Scientist
Recently, volunteers started arriving at a site where I had the challenging task of leading the deployment of tiny data-loggers onto medium-sized songbirds known as Purple Martins. The Pantex-sponsored site was one of several scattered across the range of the eastern Purple Martin in a continental-scale collaboration studying the declining species. A vehicle full of graduate students from the Department of Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock and several vehicles with graduate students from the Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the more local West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in Canyon arrived within minutes of each other and right on time.
Students assisting Jim Ray with banding and deployment of GPS tags and geolocators on Purple Martins at a colony north of Canyon.
At first, I was too preoccupied with going over instructions and helping the crew get into the routine of trapping, handling, processing, marking and releasing the birds to notice the interaction of the students from the two schools. My primary job of attaching the data-logger and harness onto the back of each bird also required concentration (precision placement, tying, gluing, trimming, etc.) But, as the day wore on there were downtimes as we waited for birds to be captured and in association with lunchtime. As an alumnus of TTU and an adjunct faculty/affiliate graduate faculty member of WTAMU, it was nice to hear the conversations between students from the two schools discussing what projects and species each was working on for their theses and dissertations.
Networking and fun times aside, the work we were doing that day was an important component of a much larger project and collaboration, as well as to the U. S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s contributions under Executive Order 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds. The students helped make the day a success, and now more than two dozen Purple Martins will be collecting data during their trek to South America and back. For many of the students the day’s activities provided them with new experience to report on their cv/resumes and to draw from in the future. I know they kept this “older” guy on his toes and I was completely worn out by evening.
We all had a great time together and this was mentioned several times during the day. In fact, it was decided that it would be kind of neat for the two wildlife programs to get together more often! There is always next year! Guns Up and Go Buffs!
Jim Ray demonstrates to Texas Tech University and West Texas A&M University students how to capture and handle Purple Martins.