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Milford SCC announces Mitch Boss is 2020 Distinguished Alumni

Nebraska City News-Press

Mitch Boss grew up in Milford and was always familiar with Southeast Community College since it was such a big part of the community. But it wasn’t until his sister’s friend graduated from the Nondestructive Testing Technology program that he took notice.

“She graduated and came back with a new Camaro and I said, ‘that’s what I want to do,’ ” he jokingly recalled.

He enrolled in the program, immersed himself in his studies, and got a job before he even graduated in 1986. He wouldn’t have done it any differently.

“I was hired and was working two weeks before graduation; I didn’t even get a chance to attend graduation,” he said.  His first job was as an NDT technician in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“My first job I was 20 years old and working on a big Boeing 707, it’s like a flying gas station,” he said. “My associate degree was everything I needed to get my career path I needed. It was the right stepping stone for me.”

Boss is now a test engineer for Lockheed Martin Space. The company builds satellites and spacecraft for government and commercial customers. It’s headquartered in Denver, with additional sites in California and Alabama. Boss is based in Colorado, but travels frequently, including to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He’s been with the company for more than 24 years.

“I still love coming to work, and if you find a job you truly love, it’s never ‘work,’ ” he said.

Boss said he was caught by surprise when he found out he was the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award for the Milford Campus. He said he’s always supported the College and the NDT program over the years.

“I was very honored,” he said. “I’m a strong recruiter for SCC and the NDT program. I tell them (students) how I got involved and the opportunities it afforded me. Get into something that doesn’t stay the same and make a change in your area,” he advises incoming students.

He said the Milford Campus has many programs depending on your interests. He never thought he would attend SCC, but his dream of playing college football never materialized.

“Do your research on the various programs in Milford and find one that intrigues you,” he said. “The different programs give you a basis and foundation to get your foot in the door in that company, and you can continue to make yourself better.”

Boss, 54, said there are always openings in his industry, and his employer, Lockheed Smith, recently hired a Milford graduate for the Denver office who is slowly learning the ropes about nondestructive testing.

“One thing I liked about NDT is it’s not just about radiography, there’s like five main methods they teach you,” he added. “It’s always changing, and the technology keeps it interesting and fascinating.”

Boss said once he retires he will continue to do some consulting in the NDT field. He also credits his parents for his success today.

“If it wasn’t for my parents, Harry and Joyce, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.