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RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) is one of eight local companies recognized by the state’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) for recruiting, hiring and promoting individuals with disabilities.
WRPS received an outreach award at the “Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers” breakfast ceremony Tuesday at the TRAC Center in Pasco. The event helps increase awareness about diversity and disability in the workplace while bringing together service providers, employers and individuals with disabilities.
“We’re very proud of this award,” said Mark Lindholm, WRPS president and project manager. “We’ve put together a highly skilled, safety-conscious workforce at WRPS by focusing on abilities rather than disabilities.”
WRPS, Hanford’s tank farms contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of River Protection, has a workforce of more than 2,000 employees. The company has hired 35 individuals with disabilities and has a total of 123 employees who have self-identified their disability status.
WRPS regularly posts job openings with organizations such as Deaf to Work, Enable America, Think Beyond the Label and the United Spinal Association, as well as with colleges specific to students with disabilities. In addition, WRPS works with representatives from the DVR to encourage individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and also works with organizations such as Goodwill Industries and Service Alternatives to promote employees with disabilities.
The “Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers” event included educational sessions on hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities, and career fairs for individuals with disabilities and high school seniors transferring into the workforce.
WRPS, owned by AECOM and EnergySolutions, with integrated subcontractor AREVA, is responsible for managing and reducing the risk posed by the waste stored in Hanford’s 177 underground tanks.