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New Savannah River Mission Completion Forum Creates Conduit Between Line, Senior Managers

AIKEN, S.C. (June 3, 2024) — A new initiative continues the conversation among all levels of leadership at Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), the Savannah River Site’s Liquid Waste contractor.


SRMC created a first line manager forum to continuously improve communication and information-sharing between upper and line management. First line managers are responsible for critical day-to-day operations, worker safety and productivity, and support of company objectives, goals, and plans.


SRMC is completing EM’s radioactive tank waste cleanup mission at SRS and operates facilities such as the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF), Defense Waste Processing Facility, End Stream Delivery Facilities, and SRS Tank Farms, which is a grouping of underground radioactive waste tanks.


Last year, all SRMC first line managers participated in the company’s first line manager workshops — an intensive developmental program where the supervisors learned the interpersonal and leadership skills needed to be an effective first line manager.


Tank Farms Project Director Scott Germain, who serves as the forum’s executive sponsor, says the initiative helps ensure expectations are understood and identifies any issues that prevent line management from being able to meet and enforce those expectations with their crews.


“At the end of each first line manager workshop last year, the participants were given time to share candid feedback with senior management,” Germain said. “That feedback — whether it was on programs, processes, or procedures — proved to be invaluable for continuous improvement within the company. We wanted to keep that conversation going with this forum.”


At the quarterly sessions, representatives from each SRMC facility gather to hear and share information on topics tailored to the job of a first line manager, such as changes to procedures, scheduling of training for employees, and human resource updates. Senior managers also provide high-level status of operational and organizational structure to give the line managers a better understanding and perspective of company operations across facilities.


Ray Coogler, a first line manager at SWPF, said the new forum has proven to be a highly effective avenue to bring improvement items to the highest levels of management.


“We have had very open and frank conversations, and the communication up the chain of command has improved tremendously, which started with the leadership workshops and is continuing with this forum. It really keeps the dialogue going,” Coogler said. “I appreciate the transparency, commitment to improvement, and willingness to listen displayed by SRMC’s leadership. It has helped me better explain the ‘why’ to my employees on some of the things we do as a company.”


SRMC comprises parent company BWX Technologies, Inc. with partners Amentum and Fluor. Its team brings the capabilities necessary to accelerate cleanup at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site through safe nuclear operations, optimized and integrated mission execution, and strong corporate governance.

Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) Conduct of Operations (CONOPS) Program Manager Kenny Dukes shares an update on SRMC’s CONOPS program and procedure at a recent first line manager forum—a new initiative at SRMC to continue candid dialogue between line managers and senior managers.


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