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Internship Program Builds Qualified, Diverse Hanford Workforce

Current interns are working on designs for facility modifications, such as ventilation system replacements, power upgrades, wastewater removal, and configured drawing updates. Interns supporting the water utilities team are working on a design for improved pumping of holding tanks and pipelines.

“The internship program considers the intern an employee from day one, guiding them to be responsible for their own problem solving and networking,” said engineer and former intern Norma Aguilera-Vazquez. “Interns gain real-world experience through hands-on learning, collaborating on designs, and working on projects that support the cleanup mission. By the time they finish the program, they have enough firsthand experience to help shape the future of engineering at HMIS and Hanford.”

Each engineering intern is assigned a mentor, typically an engineer who graduated from the internship program and transitioned to full-time employment.

Cristal Robinson, a former three-time summer intern, has been working at Hanford for more than a decade.

“This opportunity allows you to be responsible for your own success,” said Robinson. “As interns we were encouraged to look at the work of others and question why things were done. Constantly asking questions allows growth as an individual as well as a team. I still work with the mentor assigned to me my first day.”

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