Learn more about Corey Strickland, Pantex deputy site manager, and how he helps make our mission a success.
Corey Strickland, Pantex deputy site manager
Take five minutes and learn about CNS’s Corey Strickland, Pantex deputy site manager. “I am mission success” profiles share how each employee feels tied to the Pantex and/or Y 12 mission. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.
Corey Strickland has had a long and successful career at Pantex - 26 years, 3 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days to be exact. He started as a production technician and has worked many positions within the Operations and Program Management organizations before becoming the deputy site manager for Pantex in 2016.
Strickland currently serves as the lead of the Senior Management Advisory Response Team, or SMART - a team that has been critical during the site’s transition to essential mission critical operations status during the COVID-19 pandemic. With NNSA’s approval, the SMART has been working logistics to ensure Pantex systematically moved as many people as possible away from the site.
The SMART will also play an important role in the site transitioning from current operational status to normal operations.
Strickland says the SMART's role will be “ensuring that the site is ready to bring those people back to the plant and that we have done everything we possibly can to make the transition to normal operations as smooth as possible.”
Corey and the SMART have also used the Emergency Management Information System during their work to transition to mission critical status.
“The SMART has used EMInS to function as the tool where data are collected, actions are tracked, and as a resource tracking tool to ensure the SMART team can quickly evaluate the health of our employees,” he said.
Strickland said it has been amazing to watch how the plant has responded to the pandemic.
“Every time I host a site visitor, I tell them that we are proud of what we do for our nation and that they will feel that pride when they visit our work areas,” he said. “During this unprecedented time that pride continues to shines through!”
What daily task (specific meeting, report, etc.) lets you know you’re helping achieve the CNS mission?
Daily interaction with the entire plant and working with those employees to further our mission lets me know I’m helping. Providing leadership and keeping the communication lines open are key to our mission success.
Are you doing what you envisioned as a young adult?
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
What CNS principle drives you to be successful?
Setting high standards! If we don’t set our standards high, we will never reach the highest of levels we need to be in this business.
What work advice would you offer someone who is new to Pantex or Y-12?
Find a mentor and be patient. Take pride in what you do … no matter what it is.
What’s your top bucket list item and why?
To play golf in Scotland would be amazing because it’s the birthplace of the game!
Anyone traveling to or exiting from the plant towards Amarillo is encouraged to use Highway 60. The overpass at FM 2373 and I-40 is currently under construction.
The eastbound exit onto FM 2373 at I-40 will be closed for the duration of the project estimated to be completed by Friday, November 20. The westbound exit will remain open and the westbound entrance ramp will remain open until mid-August.
As our nation continues to feel tremendous stress during this time of uncertainty and unrest, now is an important time to reaffirm CNS’s absolute commitment to equality and inclusion. It is our firm policy that everyone be treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and fairness. As a company, we will not tolerate anything less. Our executive leadership team remains focused on creating an inclusive environment where all can flourish.
Here at CNS, we come together with diverse skills and backgrounds to provide outstanding work for our nation. Our shared company values - integrity, trust, respect, teamwork, and excellence - provide a framework for a positive, inclusive environment, but they are just words on a page unless we individually choose to put them into action. Each of us has the ability to act with integrity; to trust and respect our colleagues and neighbors; and to work together as a team as we seek and deliver excellence in all that we do. That choice is ours, and ours alone.
Racism and injustice - and the hurt and anger they cause - remain a serious problem across our nation. Overcoming these long-standing issues in society will not be easy, but they will not be tolerated at Pantex or Y-12. Throughout history, our sites have demonstrated that when Americans bond together, focused on a common goal and unified by a greater purpose, we can accomplish anything, even those things thought previously impossible. Now is the time for us to come together as a nation, for there is no greater purpose than freedom and equality. Together, we can create empowering communities and continue to provide work environments where each of our fellow Americans feels safe, respected, and valued for who they are and what they bring to our society.
President and Chief Executive Officer
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees from both Y-12 and Pantex have become “mask makers” using their skills and talents behind a sewing machine to make masks for their friends,
neighbors and coworkers.
Pantexan Charlotte Thomas and her husband Brian Thomas
Pantexan Charlotte Thomas has made more than 250 masks, along with the help of her husband Brian Thomas, Potter County Sheriff. He wanted to make sure his people working in the fields and those working in the jail had masks, but like everyone else they couldn’t order any. So Charlotte reached out to a friend from Sunday school who sews and asked for help. The friend directed Charlotte to a YouTube site with a 15-minute mask. On that first day they didn’t even complete one mask, but before the weekend was over they had finished 5 and by the next weekend they’d completed 25. Masks were distributed to their daughter who is an RN working in home health, River Road ISD, and others along with the Potter County Sheriff’s Office.
Charlotte said “Once the picture got out of Brian learning to sew – he had several people call and offer to make masks for him so he very graciously said thank you. And now it is not such a frantic chore to hurry up and finish them. But when you have a family that is comprised of a first responder, a nurse, and a teacher – you learn from the start to give back to the community – they work in those professions because they love serving and that is why we love them. So you help them in any way you can.”
Fellow Pantexan Lauri Minton has also been busy making masks for friends, family, and people in the medical field to wear over their N-95 masks. After her teleworking day ends and on weekends she has made more than 115 masks and a few surgical style hats for a neighbor who is a nurse practitioner in a local pediatric clinic.
Lauri said “I made some for the IS&S folks at Pantex who were issuing laptops and tokens so that many of us could telework; I think having the masks available helped ease their anxieties about exposure risks.”
Y-12er Jennifer Lawson has lost count of how many masks she and her sister have made, but estimate they’re up to around 100.
Jennifer said making masks is a way she can feel like she’s helping people during this scary time. “They at least have the protection of a mask, and in a fabric they chose,” she said. “I view it as a service
project and a way to pay forward all the blessings I have. I still have my job, and am able to work from the safety of my home. Also, lots of people don’t know how to sew, and sewing machines are scarce, along with elastic, fabric, and thread.”
Jennifer and her sister don’t accept payment for the masks they make, because she says the joy come from the giving.
“If people insisted, we asked them to find some way to help someone else or make a donation,” she said. “That way, we keep it going. Plus, people have been sending photos wearing the masks they picked out and seeing those just makes my week.”
Another Pantexan Terri Woodruff has also made masks for friends and coworkers. To date she has made between 150-175 masks and continues to make more as people request them.
Lauri also said “most of us are not doing this for the attention or for recognition – I am personally doing it because I feel called to do it (as a Christian). I have been blessed with MUCH, and ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’”
We salute these and ALL of the “mask makers” of CNS for their contributions to their family, friends, coworkers, and our communities at large.
During their time sheltering at home, Pantexans Mandi and Jeremy Neusch, both of Mission Engineering, along with their elementary age sons have taken on home‑schooling in a super practical
way — they’re raising 38 chickens, started a garden, and their cat had kittens! They also planted 107 trees as a future wind break around their farm, and they’re doing all of this on top of teleworking each
day and the boys completing school work through distance learning. Mandi said, “Who says sheltering means you have to sit on the couch?"