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January 11-- The nuclear energy industry will need to fill 20,000 positions in the next five years and that's where a cooperative effort between local school systems and Southern Nuclear comes in.

Vidalia Assistant School Superintendent Lucy Claroni says rising eighth-graders in the Vidalia, Toombs, Montgomery and Treutlen schools will be selected to take part, "They're proposing to have a summer academy with ten students from each of the four middle schools in our area.  It would be a week long at the Southeast Early College and Career Academy telling them what careers are possible in the energy field."

Nora Swanson coordinates workforce development for Southern Nuclear, "What we really want to do is kind of open up students' eyes.  The initiative is really to build STEM skills because those Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills are what our career field needs and also what almost every other career needs.  So, we look at this as a way to engage students in the bigger picture of STEM and introduce them to the possibility of an energy pathway in high school," she said.

Claroni thinks the academy can help students make decisions about what courses to seek in high school, 'Kids will be exposed to a new type of career in energy.  They can take three pathway courses in generation, transmission and distribution and then possibly focus on math and science and see the relevance of what they are doing in school and how it can lead to a career in the future."

Information on jobs in nuclear energy is available at  Other information is also available from the Nuclear Energy Institute,




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