WRPS employee stars in CBC anniversary campaign

CBC 60thThis summer, a WRPS employee’s connection to Columbia Basin College (CBC) is earning him a little bit of local notoriety.

“I think the strangest thing will be to see my face on the side of a bus,” said WRPS engineer Frank Aguilar.

As part of its 60th anniversary, CBC organized an advertising campaign featuring graduates of the school explaining how their education earned them a solid career start. As one of the event sponsors, WRPS was asked to identify an employee to share his or her story. Along with several other CBC students, Aguilar was interviewed, photographed and filmed to create an array of print, TV, radio, and bus ads that the college will roll out beginning July 1.

WRPS ‘Chamber advocate’ receives award

Melissa Garrard

Melissa (Mo) Garrard, center, WRPS Information Resources,  receives the Tri-City Regional Chamber S.T.A.R. (service, time, attitude and reliability) Award from two Chamber representatives at its annual meeting in late March. Garrard has served on the Chamber’s Executive Committee within its Board of Directors since 2013 and has been on the board since 2012.

Described as “a true advocate of the Chamber” during the award presentation, Garrard plays an essential role in the Chamber’s Small Business Incentive Program that WRPS sponsors. She helped develop the application process and participates in the selection of the incentive program grant winners each year.

WRPS volunteers support STEM learning

MESA 2015 Egg Drop Entry 1

About a dozen WRPS volunteers met with more than 500 area high school students over the weekend at an annual event focused on math, engineering, and science achievement activities. Students from 10 area schools attended the event.

Participants took on six challenges using real-world applications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. This year, students built and tested prosthetic arms, mobile phone applications, balsawood gliders and egg drop devices.

Camera crews help tell Hanford’s story

Hanford StoryA Lockheed Martin camera crew films a segment on the viewing platform overlooking C Farm. Lockheed and Mission Support Alliance are working together to produce the next chapter of The Hanford Story, a multi-part video series commissioned by the Department of Energy to help educate the public about the site’s legacy. The chapters provide an outline of the history of the site and the cleanup progress made to date.

WRPS volunteers sort produce to support local food banks

2nd Harvest

WRPS Contractor Assurance employees donated a few hours of their weekend to sort fruits and vegetables for 2nd Harvest, a hunger-relief network that supplies goods to local food banks.

In three hours, a dozen volunteers sorted almost 11,000 pounds of food, enough to provide meals to more than 9,000 people.

Each month, 2nd Harvest distributes more than 2 million pounds of free food to help people in need in 26 counties in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Partnerships with more than 250 neighborhood food banks and meal centers make it possible to feed 55,000 people each week.

Engineers week helps students explore possibilities


WRPS employees swarmed local classrooms the last week of February as part of Engineers Week, a national outreach program that highlights the positive contributions engineers make to society.

More than 80 volunteers helped introduce students to the world of engineering through presentations and fun, interactive games designed to stir interest.

Hanford Engineers Week is sponsored by a committee made of various Hanford contractors. The committee coordinates Engineers Week activities at elementary, middle and high schools in the Tri-Cities area.

WRPS’ specific sponsorship of the Zoom into Engineering program focuses on third, fourth and fifth graders. Over the course of the week-long outreach, WRPS volunteers gave 94 presentations at 23 local elementary schools, reaching more than 3,700 area students.

During these presentations, volunteers talk about what an engineer does and how they affect our world. Volunteers built hoop gliders with third graders, wind meters with fourth graders and prepared an activity using “radioactive” ping pong balls for fifth graders.

Washington River Protection Solutions awards family scholarships

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) awarded scholarships to five high school seniors as part of the company’s Family Scholarship program.  All of the recipients are children of WRPS employees.

Each student received a $2,000 scholarship.  The winners were selected on the basis of leadership, scholastic achievement and community service.

Dave Olson, WRPS president and project manager, praised the students for their accomplishments and recognized their parents for the commitment they have made to their child’s education.

“The scholarships are an excellent way for us to reward students for their hard work in the classroom and their involvement in school and community activities,” Olson said.  “We also realize their achievements would not be possible without the support of their parents.  We are pleased to contribute to their continuing education.”

The 2015 WRPS Family Scholarship winners are:

Todd Bowers, the son of WRPS employee David Bowers and his wife, Lori Bowers.  Todd is a graduate of Richland High School.  He plans to attend Brigham Young University and major in biology.

Carrie Keller, the daughter of WRPS employee Roger Keller. Carrie is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.  She plans to attend Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University and major in biology and/or law.

Patrick O’Toole, the son of WRPS employee Steven O’Toole and his wife, Colleen O’Toole.  Patrick is a graduate of Hanford High School.  He plans to attend the University of Southern California and major in economics and/or finance.

Liliana Rasmussen, the daughter of WRPS employee Juergen Rasmussen and his wife, Hongfei Zha Rasmussen.  Liliana is a graduate of Hanford High School.  She plans to attend the University of Washington and major in economics, computer science or engineering.

David Thien, the son of WRPS employee Mike Thien and his wife, Kristi Thien.  David is a graduate of Chiawana High School.  He plans to attend the University of Washington and major in computer science.

Supporting education in the community is a high priority for WRPS.  It regularly contributes to Washington State University Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College and a variety of other science, technology, engineering and math education programs.

About WRPS
WRPS, owned by AECOM and EnergySolutions, with integrated subcontractor AREVA, is a prime contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection.  WRPS is responsible for managing and reducing the risk posed by the waste stored in Hanford’s aging underground tanks.

WRPS honored for hiring veterans

WRPS has been recognized by the state Employment Security Department for its commitment to hiring veterans.  WRPS is one of seven companies statewide to be recognized.

WRPS employs approximately 200 veterans at the Hanford Site. It regularly recruits employees through WorkSource Columbia Basin and participates in mock interviews, resume-writing classes and featured employer events.

“The men and women who serve in our military bring valuable skills and experience to civilian jobs after they’ve completed their active duty,” Department Commissioner Dale Peinecke said.

Award recipients were nominated by WorkSource veterans-employment representatives who work directly with employers to help recruit, hire and retain veterans.

Washington’s WorkSource system is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that deliver a wide array of employment and training services for job seekers and employers. The Employment Security Department is a WorkSource partner.

WRPS manager recognized for commitment to local education

Jerry Holloway Crystal Apple 2015 (1)

WRPS External Affairs Manager Jerry Holloway, 2015 Crystal Apple Special Achievement Award recipient

RICHLAND, Wash. — Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) External Affairs Manager Jerry Holloway earned a surprise honor at this year’s Crystal Apple award ceremony. Holloway, a former teacher, was given the Special Achievement Award for his support of community education efforts as a WRPS representative.

Ten area teachers were honored at the event, which took place at Columbia Basin College in front of a crowd of about 200. Teachers are selected for their contributions to their schools and the impact they’ve had on their students, both past and present.

WRPS supports a number of educational organizations throughout the region, including the Washington State STEM Education Foundation, WSU Foundation, Columbia Basin College Foundation, the Reach Museum, Junior Achievement and the Dream Builder’s Educational Foundation, which organizes the Crystal Apple awards.

“WRPS and its partners continue to stress the importance of education and have shown that support through personal involvement, corporate contributions and sharing of resources,” said WRPS President and Project Manager Dave Olson. “Trendsetters and longstanding supporters like Jerry model those characteristics of our company, and we are honored to have him on our team.”

WRPS to host Vapors Technology Exchange

RICHLAND, Wash. — Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) is planning a Vapors Management Technology Exchange for Feb. 24-25, 2015, to give technology providers, including businesses, universities and national laboratories, the opportunity to learn more about Hanford’s tank farm vapor conditions and offer potential improvements and solutions.

The technology exchange will help identify current and potential technologies and methods of chemical-vapor detection, monitoring, and abatement to improve the tank farm vapor management system.

Attendance at the technology exchange will be by invitation only. Interested parties are asked to respond to an expression of interest posted no later than 5 p.m., Feb. 9, 2015.

WRPS established an independent Tank Vapor Assessment Team (TVAT), led by the Savannah River National Laboratory to examine hazardous chemical vapors management, related worker-protection measures, and recommend actions to eliminate or mitigate vapor exposures.  WRPS has embarked upon a series of actions in response to the TVAT recommendations, including technology evaluation and deployment.

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