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Francesca De Rienzo transitioned from part-time employment at Savannah River Remediation through the Veteran Cooperative Program to full-time employment in January of this year. Francesca is shown in this photo preparing to work on a helicopter while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Savannah River Remediation Employee, U.S. Veteran, Embraces Transition

March 4, 2016

Aiken, S.C. - With art classes and set building experience from high school, Francesca pursued her ideal job scope in the Air Force: aircraft structural maintenance, which includes metal work and painting on aircraft.

After high school graduation, Francesca, who is now a U.S. Veteran and an Assistant Cost and Scheduling Specialist with Savannah River Remediation (SRR), left her home in Pennsylvania and transitioned into military life. For the next 11 years, she fulfilled her goal to earn money for college and travel. She said she loved working on airplanes and seeing various parts of the world.

“After leaving Pennsylvania, where I grew up, I traveled to South Carolina and from there went to South Korea, Japan, England and Africa,” said Francesca. “I worked on F-16s, F-15s, C1-30s and helicopters, and I embraced the adventures of military life and the beauty unique to each place I went, as well as the people that I met.”

In addition to meeting and making many new friends, Francesca made another important life transition while stationed in Japan. She met her future husband.

After returning to the U.S., Francesca and her husband moved to Augusta, Georgia, where she enrolled at Augusta University and transitioned into college life.

While on campus, she said she began hearing good things about part-time employment at SRR through the Veteran Cooperative Program, an educational program providing qualifying veterans part-time paid developmental jobs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM fields, relating to their degree of study.

Francesca applied and felt at ease during her interview with the panel of military Veterans at SRR. She accepted an offer for the position of Administrative Assistant in the Project Management group. Francesca said she enjoyed her summer internship at SRR and met many new friends along the way.

“Everyone at SRR is so friendly, always saying hello with a smile and showing a genuine interest in me,” said Francesca. “I grew as a person during my summer intern experience because everyone invested in me and believed in me.”

That investment continued when the part-time internship ended, and Francesca was offered a full-time position at SRR. Francesca earned her degree in Business Management at Augusta University in December 2015, and her employment transitioned from part-time to full-time in January of this year.

Francesca now works as an Assistant Cost and Scheduling Specialist in the Saltstone and Defense Waste Processing Facility where she has been able to put her education and military experience to work.

“While in the Air Force, I also worked in the tool crib, ordered supplies for various repairs, and evaluated contractor work and military flight line maintenance, in addition to my own fabrication maintenance,” Francesca said. “Little did I know all the experience I received in all these areas would serve as a tremendous stepping stone for the work I do here at SRR.”

In addition to enjoying her newly earned degree and full-time job at SRR, Francesca says she also continues to enjoy her hobbies of gardening, reading and painting; but, she said she is about to embark on what she believes will be her favorite adventure of all. She and her husband are transitioning into the wonderful world of parenting with their first child expected in June.

Francesca has learned that transition is a necessary aspect of life, and the stages of transition in her life are proving to be a rewarding and fulfilling transformation.

SRS is owned by DOE. The SRS Liquid Waste contract is managed by SRR, which is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.

Point of Contact: Tina Melton, , 803-208-1213

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