April 27, 2016
Aiken, S.C. - Savannah River Remediation employee Francesca De Rienzo spoke this month at the 2016 Operation Palmetto Employment (OPE) Midlands Summit in Columbia, South Carolina.
De Rienzo is a military veteran employed by SRR, a certified employer of OPE. OPE is a statewide initiative committed to helping service members, family members, and veterans find meaningful civilian careers.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, De Rienzo spent 11 years on the flight line as an aircraft structural maintenance craftsman after graduating high school. After leaving the Air Force, De Rienzo enrolled in Augusta University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in business management, with an interest in project management. While in school, she also was a co-op student in SRR’s Veteran Cooperative Program.
The Veteran Cooperative Program, which began in October 2014, aids veterans transitioning into employment with mentoring, training, and allowing college credit toward a degree while working part-time at SRR. There are currently five student-veterans enrolled in the program, each holding positions related to their degree of study.
Kim Hauer, SRR Project Integration Manager and Veteran Co-Op Program Sponsor, also spoke at the OPE event and said the students in the program bring new ideas and an outside perspective to the company.
“The students are an infusion of energy,” said Hauer, who is a retired U.S. Navy submariner. “Also, with their military training and experience, the students support the culture of disciplined operations we have at SRR.”
While De Rienzo doesn’t normally like to be in the limelight, she said she is proud to represent SRR, a company she said opened many doors for her. After graduating Augusta University in December, De Rienzo came on full-time at SRR in the Waste Treatment Project Controls group.
“SRR recognizes that veterans are an excellent source of hard workers with unique expertise,” she said. “It helped me convert my skills from the military to civilian world.”
SRR is the liquid waste contactor at the Savannah River Site for the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR 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.