Corrections or additions?
Life in the Fast Lane
This articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on
March 3, 1999. All rights reserved.
Every year about this time jobs go on the line at Princeton
Plasma Physics Laboratory while Congress decides how much it will
cut from the fusion research budget. This year not only will there
be no layoffs, but the budget will increase, from $50.3 million to
U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson, Democratic Congressman Rush
Holt, and Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen visited the
lab last week to celebrate the successful start-up of the National
Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), designed to study the principles
of plasma, the hot gas that fuels fusion energy. Holt is the lab’s
former assistant director, and Frelinghuysen has supported the research
as a member of the subcommittee on appropriation energy and water.
The fusion process involves combining hydrogen atoms to make helium
in a very hot gas — an environmentally safe and inexpensive power
source. The magnetic fusion energy concept that NSTX represents is
being billed as less expensive and more versatile than previous efforts.
Magnetic fields confine the energy-producing hot plasma — shaped
like a sphere with a hole in its center, hence the name spherical
torus. What needs to be tested is the torus’ ability to confine higher
plasma pressure for a given magnetic field.
NSTX was designed and constructed jointly by PPPL, the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, Columbia University, and the University of Washington
at Seattle. Scientists hope fusion research will improve computer
chips, develop "cold" pasteurization of liquids, streamline
automated textile manufacturing, result in electrostatic atomization
of liquids and powder droplets for painting and firefighting, and
produce new ideas on using plasma for satellite positioning.
Some years ago Ananth Raman had a secretary who could
never work a few minutes late to finish a difficult task because she
had to get to her evening job. She could not feed her family on only
Now Raman and his business partner Naru Narayanan are setting up a
computer center to provide free training for those in low-wage jobs.
"We think there is a glass ceiling in place in service level jobs
that do not require technology skills," says Tim McNamara, director
of finance at International Software Consulting (ISC). "We would
like to help people improve their employment situation, and for those
who have been displaced from the workforce either voluntarily or involuntarily,
we want to provide them the skills to reenter the work force."
Free? There must be a catch. Surely this is a scheme to recruit workers
for the Thanet Circle-based business. Or a way of recruiting tuition-paying
students for a new training center.
No, says McNamara: "We have no intention of becoming a training
facility and no intention of hiring those we train." International
Software Consulting has 150 employees, and all but 10 are working
at such prestigious client locations as MasterCard in St. Louis, Cigna
in Philadelphia, and WalMart in Arkansas — ISC is the single largest
provider of IT workers to WalMart. Such clients need programmers with
at least three years experience, not those who have completed one
training course. "Their vistas may open up, but they don’t necessarily
become attractive employees to us," says McNamara.
"We see a gap between people filling service jobs, at $10 to $12
an hour, and those who can get $30,000 a year because they can use
Word or PowerPoint." says McNamara. "We want to provide those
types of basic skills, maybe to people in the workforce, or to the
unemployed, underemployed, or maybe have a disability. We see that
as a way to help the Princeton community, not as a way to get programmers
ISC’s only ulterior motive might be that its trainers would learn
something that could be applied in classes at customer locations.
"To the extent that we become better educators, we can take that
to the marketplace," says McNamara. A large part of managing projects
is coming into an organization, asking questions, and providing training.
"We can make a lot of training mistakes with the people we are
giving free training to."
Two full-time professional trainers, plus 12 computers set up in a
400-square foot room, plus textbooks and all the software programs
— all this will cost $200,000 in the first year. Classes will
be offered during regular work day and also, intensively, starting
at 6 p.m., and also on Saturdays. Two people will work in a team on
one computer. "They keep each other moving," he says, "and
when you team slow with fast they move along at an average rate. We
are looking for people that are motivated."
Both partners had worked abroad. "They saw how difficult it is
to do business outside the United States, and how very few regulatory
obstacles the United States presents. And there are few limitations
on talent," says McNamara. "It made them grateful.
Raman has two undergraduate degrees from Bombay University: a BS in
commerce (Class of 1976) and a BS in law. In India, Raman worked for
Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Eureka Vacuum Cleaners, and in Canada
for MathTech. Narayanan, an engineer, had worked for Tata, India’s
largest IT firm for 13 years, most recently as director of marketing
for the Chicago office. He was marketing director for Burroughs in
Europe and was an IT consultant to Cigna when he started the company
in 1994, when revenues were $700,000. He hired Raman in 1996, when
revenues climbed to $3 million. Revenues were $18 million last year
and projected for $30 million in the current year.
The firm works on both a time and material and a project basis for
clients in 23 states and Barbados. It has less than five percent annual
turnover, which McNamara says is unheard of in the IT industry. "That
more than anything reflects our company."
ISC has not tried to take tax credits for a donation. "There is
no benefit to setting up a charitable organization," says McNamara,
an alumnus of La Salle, Class of ’83, with an MBA from Temple. "Any
successful company has a special skill and should be willing to share
that skill. We can watch the stock market rise. We can buy new houses,
but at the end of the day if you want to feel good about your organization
you will do good things for your customers that will be good for you
as well. When you do good things, good things will come of it."
Suite 300, Princeton 08540. Ananth Raman, partner. 609-921-6338; fax,
609-921-6359. Home page: http://www.softwareisc.com.
For a while the Nassau Street retail scene looked like
it was going to be a cavalcade of coffee shops and clothing stores.
But business has always been lurking in the background and now an
information age service center has stepped up to one of the prime
locations directly across from Princeton University.
Bill Howard moved his franchise operation of the Triangle chain from
Hulfish Street to bigger quarters, 1,600 square feet, directly on
Nassau Street. It is located next to P.J.’s Pancake House, in the
store formerly occupied by Ricchard’s Shoes, which has combined its
men’s and women’s operations. Triangle is a complete copy service
that offers stats, binding, dry mounts, offset, circuit negatives,
blueprints, color copying, plus Western Union services.
The open house is next Wednesday, March 10, from noon to 8 p.m.
08542. Bill Howard, president. 609-924-4630; fax, 609-683-9653. E-mail:
100, Monmouth Junction 08852. Michelle Edwards, manager. 732-355-0355;
fax, 732-355-9494. Home page: http://www.aceav.com.
The presentation products distributor/contractor, — projectors,
plasma screens, and videoconferencing systems — sales, service,
Suite 103, Cranbury 08512. Michael Nachamkim, market officer, vice
president. 609-409-2120; fax, 609-409-1565. Home page: http://www.prologis.com.
The largest owner and operator of warehouse and warehouse distribution
centers has opened a tri-state headquarters in Cranbury Business Park.
Based in Denver, this is the first operation in New Jersey and will
be more than two million square feet.
Junction 08852. Al Lush, manager national accounts. 732-821-7200;
fax, 732-821-9297. Home page: http://www.arfw.com.
The sales office for this LTL motor carrier moved from 241 Forsgate
Drive to Monmouth Junction last year. It is based in Harrison, Arkansas.
Peter Doolan, president. 609-883-5660; fax, 609-883-5970.
The residential and commercial real estate firm, formerly a Century
21 company, moved from Grand Avenue in Ewing.
Drive, Suite 570, Robbinsville 08691-1907. Alan Greg Norcott, regional
director. 609-584-1114; fax, 609-584-8301.
This instructional service provider has moved from 1800 Route 33 Hamilton
Square to 500 Horizon Drive, Robbinsville. Based in Jersey City, and
founded nearly 20 years ago, Independent Child Study Teams (ICST)
was acquired by Baltimore-based Sylvan Learning Systems in 1997. As
the largest provider of educational services in the country, ICST
aims to provide students in non-public schools the same services available
to children in public schools, says Alan Greg Norcott.
Norcott obtained his doctorate in education from Rutgers in 1979,
and worked for the State Department of Education for 16 years. He
was also involved in Mercer County Special School Systems.
The types of services provided include instructional services in reading,
math, home instruction, speech, and English as second language; diagnostic
services; and nursing services. Providing these services to non-public
schools was made mandatory in 1977 and currently nearly 5,000 students
have access to these services. Independent Child Study Teams have
contracts with school districts that allow them to provide their services
through the schools in their districts.
5, Monmouth Junction 08852. Jeff DiBartolo, president. 732-940-6550;
fax, 732-940-6540. Home page: http://www.teaminteract.com.
Interact Multimedia moved from Dayton to Cornwall Road last year;
it does new media development, advertising, web development and design,
CD-ROMs, screen savers, and trade show kiosks. Jeff DiBartolo earned
his BFA in advertising design from the College of New Jersey, Class
of 1988, and worked for a small new media shop, one of the few such
companies at the time. His clients include Philips Lighting, Warner
Brothers, Advil, Spelling Entertainment, Bellcore, and — for Budweiser
— a frog screen saver. Demos are available at the home page.
Joseph K. Stankevitch, president. 800-213-8904; fax, 717-561-4494.
IntegraTech has moved its administrative offices from 7 Center Drive,
Jamesburg to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a more central location for
operations control. Technicians in New Jersey operate from their homes.
This is the administrative office of a warranty callback service for
builders of new homes, with national headquarters in Harrisburg, formerly
known as ProHome Inc.
Les Kacev, president. 732-254-6050. Home page: http://www.eshed.com.
Intelitek, otherwise known as Esched Science and Technology, has moved
from 445 Wall Street in Research Park to South River and has a new
phone number. It offers software, equipment, and training on theory,
programming and use of robots and computer integrated manufacturing,
demo kits, and 3-D data collection.
08831. Derek Fairey, owner. 732-521-4488; fax, 732-521-2117.
The weaving business that started with such promise 10 years ago has
left town or otherwise downsized. The company has no listing in directory
assistance, and the owner has an unlisted telephone number and could
not be reached.
Derek Fairey, the founder, grew up in Leicestershire, the weaving
center of England, and comes from a long line of weavers. He immigrated
to the United States in 1979 and started his own firm 10 years later
when he bought his first computerized knitting machine and set it
up in a garage (U.S. 1, May 6, 1992). At one point he had 27 looms,
making knit fabric for sweaters from raw material yarn.
08036. Steve Lang, general manager. 609-394-8121; fax, 609-396-6049.
Home page: http://www.oi-inc.com.
The office furniture store has moved from 658 Whitehead Road to south
Jersey and has a new fax and phone, 609-702-5882; fax, 609-702-5889.
It offers office furniture, design, order management, inventory management,
carpeting, painting, and refurbishment, and it is an authorized Steelcase
and HON dealer.
Boulevard, Suite 200, Ewing 08618. Richard J. Dulcey, branch manager.
609-895-0050; fax, 609-895-0111. Home page: http://www.erm.com.
Richard J. Dulcey PE has replaced Andrew Huggins as manager of the
New Jersey office of this global environmental, health, and safety
consulting firm. He has degrees in chemical engineering from Villanova
and managed the Superfund Cost Recovery Group for the federal Environmental
Princeton 08540. Thomas H. Judge, president. 609-924-9073; fax, 609-924-7946
Comprehensive Business Services has changed its name. It offers bookkeeping,
consulting and tax services, and is an accredited tax preparer.
Princeton 08540. Paul J. Maselli Esq., partner. 609-452-8411; fax,
Formerly known as Maselli Warren & Lanciano, this law firm has changed
its name and now has two attorneys.
Avenue, North Brunswick 08902. William Olson, branch manager. 732-249-1616;
Van-Doren Johnson Company has changed its name.
08540. Pat McGrath, vice president of operations. 609-452-0022; fax,
609-452-0212. Home page: http://staffingalternatives.com.
The personnel agency specializing in office support was formerly known
as Alternatives in Temporary Services.
20. She retired as vice president for Commercial Trust Company and
later worked for Clancy Paul Computers, Princeton.
Regional Schools and the Hun School.
Squibb and for Pitney Bowes.
Princeton Regional Schools.
He worked for Credit Suisse and for Mellon Bank.
of sales for Universal Process Equipment on Route 130 South in Robbinsville.
assistant at Mobil Oil Corporation.
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