Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



Matthew T. Conner
Precision Machining Technology


Matthew Conner

Matthew Conner

Twenty-six year old Matthew Conner has a full plate - attending DCC as a full-time student; working a 40-hour, six-day a week schedule at ABB in South Boston; and settling into married life.

His efforts in one area will be rewarded in May 2011, when he completes his studies and earns a Diploma in Precision Machining Technology. A 2002 graduate of Halifax County High School, Conner is the son of Laura M. Conner and the late Alfred E. Conner Sr. of Vernon Hill. He says he was always motivated to continue his education.

“My parents strongly encouraged me my whole life to further my education,? Conner says. “However, I mainly encouraged myself to get back into school after working a full-time job for three years.

“Continuing my education and acquiring additional skills will allow me to advance my career and offer more to my employer? he adds. “I have had the opportunity to have a strong, steady job with occasional opportunities to travel with the company.?

Conner says he was encouraged to attend DCC by his mother, a DCC graduate who received an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Administrative Support Technology-Medical Office Specialization in 2003. His brother, Alfred E. Conner Jr., also attended DCC and received two Diplomas in Electrical/Electronics and Precision Machining Technology.

“My brother was in the (precision machining technology) program and would mention a few things he was doing in the class,? Conner explains. “He knew I enjoyed math and told me that I would more than likely enjoy being a machinist.?

Conner enrolled in DCC in fall 2009.

“I am really enjoying the chip throwing and the idea of turning a piece of material, whether it is metal, aluminum, plastic, etc., round or blocked material, into something useful. So hopefully I will be able to find a position in my major to fulfill this excitement after graduation? he says.

Conner acknowledges that the instructors Doug Poole and Troy Simpson, both Associate Professors of Precision Machining Technology, have been most helpful and encouraging to him.

“They encouraged me and the other students not to limit ourselves to what they teach us. There is only so much they can teach us in the short time we are with them. They tell us to ask questions if in doubt.? he explains.

Conner now lives in Blairs with his wife, Lauren, whom he married in October 2009. They enjoy volunteering their time in the youth activities program at Riveroak Church of God, while Conner also enjoys wild game hunting and participating with a local hunting club.

Conner acknowledges that there can be many obstacles associated with returning to school. After being out of school for five years, Conner says he had to prove to himself that he was capable of doing what needed to be done.

“The next obstacle (after enrolling) was trying to help my wife with the finishing touches on our wedding plans, while attending classes in the mornings and working second shift,? he notes.

The third obstacle, and probably the most challenging of all, according to Conner, is attending day classes after working long hours that often have him arriving home sometimes past 2 o’clock in the morning.

“My wife has played a major role in helping me overcome everything. It’s hard to over sleep with someone pushing you out of bed,? laughs Conner. “But I must say that everyone in my life has helped me. It’s amazing how someone can fuel you so much by just telling you how proud they are for the efforts that you put into getting a degree.?

Conner has managed to maintain excellent grades and has been placed on the President’s and Vice President’s Honors Lists for his outstanding academic performance since enrolling at DCC.

According to Conner the best thing about DCC is how the professors treat students as an individual rather than a number.

“By having small classes, they (instructors) are able to provide more in-depth, one-on-one assistance,? he adds.

Conner encourages others to attend DCC by pointing out the affordability of the school, the location, and the courses that DCC has to offer.

“The environment is awesome, the tuition is affordable, and the location is appealing,? says Conner. “I have had a wonderful time learning new skills and making new friends, which would not have happened if I had not attended DCC.?

For more information about the Precision Machining Program, contact the professor Troy Simpson or Doug Poole at 434.797.8558 or 434.797.8519; toll free at 800.560.4291; or
click here.


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