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Young Nuclear Professionals Group Is Now 10,000 Strong

Sept. 12, 2013—North American Young Generation in Nuclear, started by seven founders in 1999, has signed up member No. 10,000.

The volunteer-run organization, which has grown to 110 local chapters, provides leadership and professional development opportunities for young people in the nuclear energy industry.

“We have now become the premier leadership development activity for the nuclear energy industry,” said Christine Csizmadia, NAYGN president and NEI manager of grassroots and outreach programs. “With so many opportunities at the local, regional and continental level, we provide some of the first opportunities for young professionals to practice their leadership skills.”

The seven founders recognized the importance of expanding opportunities for the industry’s young professionals, at a time when nuclear utilities were beginning to pursue license renewals for their reactors.

Today, the nuclear energy industry supports 100,000 jobs, and NAYGN’s mission is as pressing as ever. Because of pending retirements, the industry expects over the next five years to hire 20,000 highly skilled new workers at existing U.S. reactors alone.

“NAYGN has provided a very valuable entry-point into professional development that can only be attained as part of an organized and networked group of peers,” said Michael Stuart, senior nuclear instructor at Dominion and former NAYGN public information chair.  “It serves a valuable function as a bridge between new-to-nuclear professionals and the much more formal professional-oriented organizations such as ANS.”

“Young professionals need to have these opportunities to develop relationships with our senior leadership, so that we can learn from their experiences and help carry their message forward to future generations,” said Amy Buu, senior business learning consultant at Westinghouse, who served as NAYGN president in 2007.

Founding member Paul Wilson, now a nuclear engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin, praised the progress of the organization, which now counts 10,011 members: “The fact that we've reached 10,000 members is fabulous: NAYGN continues to serve its members in a way that other organizations aren't able to.”