The name has changed, but the people and the mission haven’t.
That was the message delivered Tuesday evening at Newberry Hall as community leaders gathered to celebrate the transition of AECOM Management Services to Amentum.
The new name is derived from the Greek term for a leather strap that is attached to a javelin, which allows for better range and stability.
That’s exactly what Amentum is bringing to the table.
“We’re not getting smaller, we’re not downsizing,” Mark Whitney, an Amentum general manager and executive vice president, told the audience. “We’re growing business as we move forward.”
The new company was launched when AECOM sold its nuclear- and defense-based division to private investment firms. AECOM was best known locally for leading Savannah River Remediation, the company tasked with processing millions of gallons of nuclear waste at Savannah River Site.
That mission continues, just under a new name. The company traces its roots to 1904, and has operated in the Aiken area under a variety of names: URS, Washington Group International, Westinghouse Government Services and AECOM.
Whitney talked about the company’s new tagline that features the words “experience,” “passion” and “purpose,” and how they fit into the company’s overall goals. He also mentioned a global workforce of 20,000, and he thanked Keith Wood and the other Aiken employees who made the transition a smooth one.
“We’re starting from a position of strength,” he said.
Amentum is also appealing to a new generation of worker that faces the challenge of mitigating the nuclear waste that has been called South Carolina's biggest environmental hazard.
As a gesture, Amentum also announced gifts to five groups that sometimes fly under the radar. The money will be put to good use by the Aiken Center for the Arts, the CSRA Golden Harvest Food Bank, Second Baptist Christian Preparatory School, Great Oak Equine Assisted Programs and the ROTC programs in the Aiken County Public School District.
As the party wound down, workers were busy across the street changing the name from AECOM to Amentum at the company’s office on Newberry Street. By Wednesday morning, the name change was complete.
No matter the name, Amentum’s people and mission remain vitally important to Aiken and the Savannah River Site.