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PPPL receives recognition for apprenticeship program

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) received the 2019 Business Partner of the Year award from the Mercer County Technical Schools for its new apprenticeship program, which provides paid on-the-job training and free technical courses to train early-career technicians in cutting edge skills. 

Mercer County Technical Schools gave the award to PPPL’ers who helped establish the program at an Oct. 30 event at the school.

“PPPL is very pleased to receive this recognition for our apprenticeship program from the Mercer County Technical Schools,” said Valeria Riccardo, head of engineering, the primary organizer of the program. “This new program is already off to a fine start with four early-career technicians who are hard at work learning the technical skills they will need to work on cutting-edge experiments at our national laboratory.”

Four early-career technicians will complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job-training in electrical and technical skills building components for PPPL’s fusion and plasma experiments while taking classes at Mercer County Technical Schools in the four-year program. 

The apprenticeship program was started by Cowley, who saw similar programs in England when he was head of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has touted the program as fitting in with his vision for developing New Jersey’s technology-based industries in what he calls the Innovation Economy.  

PPPL, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, partnered with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the U.S. Department of Labor on the program. Read more about the program here

PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which  is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visitenergy.gov/science.

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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