(Richland, WA) -- It's the start of something new at WSU Tri-Cities; the school is teaming up with Washington River Protection Solutions to launch a new cooperative internship for select juniors, seniors, and graduate students. WRPS is a prime contractor at the Hanford site, and the new program intends recruit and retain students interested in working on the environmental cleanup effort.

Through the co-op, WRPS and the WSU Tri-Cities Career Center will recruit up to 10 students per year. The students will work full-time for one summer plus a flexible part-time schedule during the school year. WRPS will then offer full-time opportunities to successful graduates.

“WSU Tri-Cities embraces collaborative applied learning opportunities for students with industry, leading to workforce-ready graduates. We are so grateful for the continued support of WRPS, a creative and impactful industry member in the Mid-Columbia region,” said WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes.

Students will be paired with a WRPS employee or manager who will serve as a mentor for academic and professional development. The company is also donating $250,000 to help establish the program.

"The Hanford Mission is going to be here not for another decade or two, but likely five or more. That's a lot of generation of work that's upon us," said company CEO John Eschenberg.

The first cohort of interns is expected to begin work this summer alongside about 50 other students completing more traditional summer internships at Washington River Protection Solutions.

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