AshBritt and Savannah State are launching a 3-year partnership aimed at introducing students to careers in disaster response and recovery, creating opportunities for first-hand experience in the field, and fostering learning outside of the classroom related to their studies. AshBritt kicked off the partnership by hosting 10 students and one professor on a 2-day operations visit in the Florida Panhandle. The students came from a variety of scholarly backgrounds and are interested in learning about disaster response. Students participating in the program range from sophomores to seniors who are studying Marine Science, Environmental Science, Civil Engineering, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Accounting.
Students were joined for breakfast by Matt Gierden, Brittany Perkins Castillo, and Gerardo Castillo for an overview of AshBritt and the Hurricane Michael response. Savannah State students received a safety briefing and discussed safety careers with Corporate Safety Manager, Brett Postelli. At the Debris Management Site students learned about Right Of Way collection, dump site and haul out. They were also given a tour of the DMS. Tetra Tech representatives joined to explain how the debris is tracked. Students were joined by Bay County Superintendent Bill Husfelt for lunch where they learned about the levels of impact a storm can have on a community. Students then toured a waterway debris removal operation.
Students learned about ROW debris removal operations, waterway debris removal operations, public-private partnerships, the value of local leadership in a disaster response, the federal role in a disaster that is issued a Major Disaster Declaration, and the many other factors that come into consideration during a disaster response. Educational programs like these are critically important for future leaders in the industry to gain first hand experience. AshBritt was thrilled to host the Savannah State students and to provide first hand learning experiences.