When Matt Beck began working at PennDOT in 2004, he was following in his father Larry's footsteps.
Larry Beck was assistant district executive for design when he retired in 2003 after more than 35 years with the department in its Williamsport-area district. Matt Beck said his father never pressured him to work for PennDOT but did suggest it as a great place to build a career.
"He valued the public service aspect of working for the department," Matt said. "He also was proud of District 3, that we have always had a great team and have been among the best at providing a safe, efficient, and well-maintained transportation system for the traveling public."
Another part of Matt's life influenced by his father was his involvement with Boy Scouts of America. Larry was volunteer leader of the local Boy Scout troop (Troop 331, Wolf's Crossroads near Sunbury in Northumberland County). Matt became a Cub Scout at a young age and eventually transitioned into Boy Scouts.
At age 16, Matt attained the rank of Eagle Scout, an achievement that requires dedication, a desire to learn new skills, and a commitment to public service.
"Scouting taught me leadership skills, public-speaking skills and good communication skills, in general," he said. "It helps when dealing with large government projects that require coordination with other public officials and that ultimately must meet the expectations of the public."
Those skills have been helpful in Matt's role as district assistant plans engineer. He currently leads the team that is advancing the design of the largest and most-complex project in District 3 history — the $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation (CSVT) project.
Coincidentally, Larry Beck also had a hand in the CSVT, the seeds of which were planted decades ago but went through several starts and stops before being fully activated following the passage of transportation funding legislation Act 89.
"When I look back at old meeting minutes from the early history of the project, I often see his name listed as part of the discussions that helped shape the project into what it is today," Matt said.
Matt continues his involvement with Boy Scouts. He volunteers at the organization's Susquehanna Council Camp Karoondinha, located in Millmont, Union County, and serves as an advisor for the council's Order of the Arrow lodge.
Matt sometimes seeks his father's advice on issues related to his work at PennDOT and continues to follow the advice he gave earlier on.
"I'm looking forward to my career here at District 3," he said. "I plan to be here for the rest of my career."