Matt Payne

Matt Payne will be a member of OCC’s first class of students graduating from the Nuclear Energy Technology degree program. The 44-year-old father of four saw the opportunity of a lifetime when the College started the program in the fall of 2013. Payne decided to return to school after 20 years in the workforce. “My biggest challenge was time management, having a family, and cutting back to working part-time. After the first couple weeks everything fell into place.”

During the summer of 2014 Payne completed a nine-week internship at Exelon Generation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba. He divided his time evenly among all three maintenance disciplines; instrument & controls, mechanical, and electrical and received hands-on experience working throughout the plant. “It was a great experience. I was surrounded by wonderful people in the safest environment I have ever worked in. It was confirmation I made the right choice pursuing this degree.”

Payne’s work toward his associate degree at OCC is just the beginning of his journey. “After I graduate and get a job in the nuclear industry I want to pursue a master’s in Electrical Engineering.”

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