Shaw a 'Star' at National Security Technologies
AS A CHILD, Mark Shaw dreamed of flying to the stars. And though his current role as operations specialist for National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec) isn’t exactly the same as being an astronaut, it’s still his dream job.
“It’s fascinating,” he enthuses. “It motivates me. The brilliance of the scientists there, it’s amazing.”
Based in North Las Vegas, NSTec is a private company that serves as the management and operating contractor for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and other related facilities around the country. Shaw’s in-plant supports the NTS by providing stationery, brochures and many different kinds of reports.
“We do a lot of training manuals for first responders,” reveals the 51-year-old in-plant manager, who views his co-workers as patriots. “We are a big part in making things right after 9/11. That’s a big part of our mission.”
The four-person in-plant isn’t your usual place to work. Shaw has to navigate through heavy security just to enter the complex. The property is owned by the Department of Energy and houses much of the support staff that services the NTS, 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
“I’ve never worked with a company that’s so focused on safety,” Shaw says. He’s been trained in first aid including CPR, use of the defibrillator and radiation training. Perhaps the oddest training he received involves aiding tortoises if found in distress on the grounds of the NTS.
Growing Up a Hard Worker
An energetic and jovial man, Shaw grew up in Newbury Park, Calif., and all of his neighbors seemed to be rocket scientists.
“I was really into the space program,” he remembers. “Most of my friends and neighbors had something to do with putting a man on the moon.” He recalls a photograph of a neighbor inspecting Buzz Aldrin’s space suit. The caption read “Never forget your dreams.”