Pantex and Y-12 named veteran-friendly employers
Pantex and the Y-12 National Security Complex were recently named veteran-friendly employers. The Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Veterans Commission honored Pantex with the distinction in 2018, and the Tennessee Veterans Business Association recognized Y-12 in January. Together, Pantex and Y-12 employ more than 1,800 veterans.
Veterans serve in a range of roles at the sites, everything from security police officers to machinists to weapons assembly/disassembly operators to engineers. “Working at Y-12 has allowed me to continue my service to the nation in a meaningful way,” said Tom Tress, who served as a helicopter mechanic in the Marine Corps and is now a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt working on process improvement initiatives at the site. “I believe strongly in our nuclear deterrence mission.”
Sherry Philyaw, retired senior chief petty officer who now manages infrastructure assessments and corrective actions at Pantex, finds continuity in her military and Pantex careers through the structure and formality of processes. “To assure the dependability of every single one of our products, we have to follow procedures and policies, just like in the Navy,” she said. “We check and double check everything. Our customer has to know without a doubt that the product we deliver will be exactly what they are expecting.”
In addition to veterans, Pantex and Y-12 employ active-duty Reserve and National Guardsmen and women who are often deployed on tours of duty around the world.
“Military service builds skills that are very valuable to employers,” said Heather Freeman, Pantex Human Resources site manager. “Veterans have training in leadership, teamwork, loyalty, decision making, and technical skills. They have real-life experience, work well under pressure, are responsible, have a strong work ethic, and can interact with a variety of people. It is a great investment for both employers and those who have served our country.”
Moreover, since July 2014, Consolidated Nuclear Security, the managing contractor of Pantex and Y-12, has awarded veteran-owned small businesses nearly $184 million in contracts and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses more than $81 million. Those contracts represent more than 200 veteran-owned small businesses and about 100 service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.