Senior engineer LaToya McClain enjoys learning how things work

Senior engineer LaToya McClain enjoys learning how things work

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LaToya McClain was a Mississippi State mechanical engineering student, two weeks into her first co-op rotation with Mississippi Power, when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

“I was barely through safety training when I got assigned to lead a crew of contract tree trimmers,” said McClain. “I didn’t have a day off until November.”

McClain, who started full-time in 2006, is now a senior engineer at Plant Daniel. Her regular duties include planning and executing capital projects, and facilitating root cause analysis and human performance events. She also assists system owners at the plant monitoring the performance of equipment and diagnosing issues.

Recently, she worked a maintenance outage on one of the combined cycle units.

“This was my first time to work an outage on a combined cycle unit and it was interesting seeing the pieces of equipment come apart and then being put back together,” said McClain.

Her interest in how things work began as a child while she stood beside her father, Charles McLain, recently retired from Plant Daniel, and worked in his shop.

When she’s not figuring out how things work, she can be found working out at the gym. In 2014, McClain entered two bodybuilding competitions, placing second in one and third in the other.

She also has a side business, The Crossing, preparing healthy meals for her growing list of clients.

“The name for the business was inspired by the fact that everyone eventually comes to a crossroad before deciding to better their health or change their lifestyle for the better,” said McClain. “I started out with two customers and eventually grew to 10 weekly customers with more that order from time-to-time. I have one customer in Birmingham who orders 50 meals at a time.”

In 2011, McClain bought a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 big block with a 4-speed transmission at a car show in Pascagoula.

“When I got her, she had the initials M.R.C., which stood for my raggedy car, but after having her fully restored over a four-year period, she earned the name Marcia,” said McClain.

McClain continues to take things apart and put them back together as scheduled maintenance of equipment is ongoing at the plant.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube.