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Posted 12.20.05
 
 
   

MU Receives Grant to Prepare Students for Careers in Nuclear Energy

WASHINGTON - MU will receive a $2.3 million grant to respond to the energy industry's need for well-trained radiation protection technicians, the U.S. Department of Labor announced December 19. The grant is part of nearly $27 million in investments made in support of the nation's energy workforce under President George W. Bush's High Growth Job Training Initiative, a strategic plan to prepare workers for jobs in expanding industries.

"The energy sector is facing a shortage of skilled workers," said Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. "This $2.3 million grant made possible by the president's High Growth Job Training Initiative will help workers acquire the necessary skills along with an associate degree that will pave the way for a career in the energy sector."

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Radiation protection technicians play an essential role in keeping radiation levels safe inside nuclear power plants. Studies suggest that up to 57 percent of these technical workers will retire within the next five years.

The MU and a group of partners from the nuclear energy field will establish a Center of Excellence for Radiation Protection Technology Education and Training. The center will develop an associate of applied science degree program in nuclear technology that will be disseminated to a network of community colleges throughout the country.

"A pipeline of skilled radiation protection technicians will be crucial to the nuclear energy sector's growth," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. "The program the University of Missouri is developing with its private sector partners will prepare up to 200 workers throughout the country for jobs in this critical field."

Through the president's High Growth Job Training Initiative, the Department of Labor has been conducting executive forums with leaders of expanding industries to identify critical workforce gaps and issues. Solutions are chosen and are carried out in cooperation with employers, educational institutions and the public workforce system. For more information, visit www.doleta.gov/BRG/JobTrainInitiative/.

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MU News Bureau: http://munews.missouri.edu/