AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - The future of STEM careers in the CSRA just got brighter. The National Nuclear Security Administration announced a $5 million grant to 5 local colleges. The goal is to develop the future workforce and carry out important missions at SRS.

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty is the Admin of the National Nuclear Security Administration. “I am pleased to announce our increased funding for the workforce opportunities in regional careers - or WORC.”

A $5 million investment will support students training for multiple missions at SRS; from computer technology to nuclear science. The money will fund 150 scholarships per year at Aiken Tech, Augusta Tech, Augusta University, USC Aiken and USC Salkehatchie.

National Nuclear Security Administration Manager Lisa Gordon-Hagerty says it’s important that there’s a highly skilled workforce at the Savanah River Site because the workload will increase, including the proposed plutonium pit and long-standing tritium missions. “I would hope that we might be able to use this as a pilot opportunity or to use it in a similar fashion in other places in the United States.”

The partnership brought together political and educational leaders from both sides of the pond.

“What you’re doing here today is going to add to GDP.” Congressman Rick Allen says the pipeline from education to business is the answer to future workforce needs.

The Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration have granted $1 million every year to WORC wince 2016. That $5 million dollar grant starts in 2020; at $1 million per year for the next 5 years.

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