Aiken Technical College's proposed centerpiece facility for training the next generation of nuclear technology professionals was boosted Thursday with a donation from a Savannah River Site project team that may employ its graduates.

Shaw AREVA MOX Services pledged $100,000 toward Aiken Technical College's construction of the Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing.

The proposed building will support the college's growing radiation protection technology, nuclear quality systems, welding and mechatronics programs, according to ATC.

“We are extremely grateful for Shaw AREVA MOX Services' generosity, and proud that this contribution toward our new facility demonstrates a confidence in the value of the training that will take place within it,” said ATC President Dr. Susan Winsor. “The programs to be housed in the Center are critical for training the citizens of Aiken County and surrounding areas to have the skills needed to fill high-skill jobs being created in our area. This contribution helps to make significant progress toward our goal.”

Capital investments, like MOX's, will enable the college to build and equip the proposed facility, which hopes to enhance its current programs as well as “building future programs that meet the needs of business and industry.”

ATC received a $2 million grant in 2012 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to build the $8 million Center. The grant required a $2 million match from other sources. With the MOX pledge, the total amount of private funds for the endeavor is beyond the $1 million mark, according to Anna Dolianitis, public relations coordinator for ATC.

“The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility we are building will have a need for trained nuclear technicians, and Aiken Technical College will go a long way in helping us fill that need,” said Shaw AREVA MOX Services President and COO Kelly Trice. “We are very pleased to support the college's state-of-the-art Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing that will educate our community's future workforce.”

The Aiken Technical College Foundation kicked off its Putting Knowledge to Work capital campaign in September to seek community and industry support for the new facility, and contributions continue to bring Aiken Technical College closer to its goal.