HOUSTON - October 10, 2016
“I really love this job. I love the opportunity to be able to learn something new. To be able to step outside of my comfort zone of what I’ve always done. It’s a good career and I just want to be the best technician I can be for VAM USA and for myself”.
Lectoria Payne moved to Houston from Chicago in 2013 when her husband’s position transferred him to the Houston area. She said so far she’s “very much liking” it because of the job and the weather. She has two daughters. A 21 year-old who opted to remain in Chicago for the very reason Payne likes it in Houston––the weather. Her daughter said it’s too hot in Texas. Her 18 year-old daughter moved with the family to Houston. In addition to her full-time job with VAM USA, she cares full time for her youngest daughter who has cerebral palsy. But according to Payne, other than her physical disability she is a normal teenager.
In Chicago, Payne worked as a material handler for a waste disposal company. She feels her previous work helped open the door to her position at VAM USA. Initially hired as a material handler at VAM USA, she has worked hard to become a Technician Trainee, and in 2015 was promoted to a Test Technician 1 role. She performs tests called “make and break” to ensure the connection thread seals will not “gall”. If galling occurs this means they will not seal properly. She learned how to run and troubleshoot the load frames where the samples are subjected to testing, and how to identify and safely use multiple hand-tools for the many jobs she has to perform on the shop floor. In this non-traditional work environment for a woman, Payne is happy she has learned to communicate with her co-workers on their level so she is understood and they understand her.
Her team has welcomed her into this role, and have been patient and consistent in helping her to learn all aspects of her job to be a successful technician and team member. Her manager has been extremely supportive and a true mentor in helping her to work through workplace issues in a logical step-by-step manner. She said VAM USA attention to safety is much more comprehensive than what she experienced with her previous employer. The VAM USA monthly safety meeting in addition to the daily department tool box meeting help to keep safety in the forefront in the workplace and constantly on everyone’s mind to work safely.
She feels she has settled really well into her career at VAM USA and plans to work here until she is lucky enough to retire from the company. Payne is ready to explore all opportunities that would be available to her as she grows into her role with the Research & Development Department and beyond.