Mentorship and Hanford

Why start from scratch when you can use existing expertise and lessons learned?  From ten interviews with organizations like the Service Board, WA Bus, Islandwood, and Passages Northwest, we put together a guide to bringing mentorship to Hanford. There is a long-version and a one-pager with helpful tips as we get this show on the road, like “Successful mentorship values real life stories and experiences. These stories can offer valuable and unforgettable insights.”

Folks who have been involved with Hanford during its production days when it was the powerhouse of plutonium production for nuclear weapons for WWII and the Cold War have A LOT of stories to share.  When I first got involved these stories played a big role in piquing my curiosity and keeping me interested in Hanford.

One time I was visiting someone who was showing me maps of the site and pointing out where there were waste sites that weren’t on the map, but he knows waste was dumped there because he was there and watched drums of waste dumped there.  What do we do when folks like this are gone?  I think it is pretty important that we map this knowledge before it disappears.

Mentorship at Hanford is tricky because it takes a really long time to understand enough to REALLY follow conversations.  It took me about two years.  It is less likely these days for people to stay in one job or career for their entire life.  So we have this challenge to work with, finding folks who want to stay involved long-term.  It isn’t impossible.  It definitely helps when you have point people you can use to ask questions and clarify acronyms.  I certainly wouldn’t have survived without help.  And it’s worth it.  I have been able to meet some incredible people and through Inheriting Hanford want to introduce them to you.

By: Liz Mattson

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