Aug. 12, 2007 Gregory Christian is on a mission to join technical education with business smarts.
As the founder of Penntium Electronics and Technical Training in La Grande Princess, Christian said he's filling a critical gap between students and viable careers in electronics and computers.
"As a former educator with a background in the private industry I saw a need to link technical education and business to create a robust work force," Christian said.
Christian opened the school in November 2006, targeting those ready to take their computer skills to the next level or begin a new career in computer technology, refrigeration or home ventilation, among other careers.
Penntium Electronics offers a host of technology-based studies. Students can be on the cutting edge by earning certifications in Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. Christian said the demand for this technology, in which customers use their computers as they would a telephone, will steadily increase as home use skyrockets.
According to the Penntium website, the school has created a course that introduces the fundamentals and basic principles of VoIP technology. Thus, through hands-on experiments and detailed exercises, students will be given a solid foundation for an exciting new career."
The school also offers courses in computer networking, LAN Technologies, COMPTIA Network +, IP Addressing and Subnetting, Working with TCP/IP along with several other computer components.
In the air conditioning and refrigeration filed Penntium offers graduates of this course a certification in Home Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC).
Christian said he is constantly scrutinizing the courses he offers in order to offer the best and most useful skills to his students.
Our goal is to become the leading information technology training school in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Caribbean, the Penntium website states. We intend to accomplish this goal by offering quality instruction that meet students' needs better than any competitor, by utilizing state-of-the-art technology and building a superior workforce through careful hiring and continuous training and development; closely meeting the needs of each student and by offering superior technical service.
Students taking the classes will work with educational and training methods utilizing the industry's best textbooks, necessary hardware and software. Christian calls this the Penntium Technical Training Approach to Learning.
The young entrepreneur comes to the business world with a wealth of experience and training. After graduating from St. Croix Central High School in 1987, he spent six years in the U.S. Navy and served in the Desert Shield and Desert Storm campaigns in the Middle East.
For two years he taught at the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island. Christian attended Devry University in Atlanta and received an associate's degree in applied science in engineering from Cleveland Institute of Electronics. In July 2001 he earned a B.A. in electronics engineering technology from World College in Virginia.
Christian said the reason he went into business on St. Croix was twofold.
I want to help create a robust U.S. Virgin Islands work force and of course, provide technical knowledge and research with a physical presence on all three islands eventually, he said.
The other is to be an example for others who are interested into going into business for themselves and to show that it can be done.
It is important for young people to own and manage their business, Christian said. It gives them a sense of pride and responsibility and it's a way to give back to the community.
You can learn more about Penntium Electronics and Technical Training by checking out its website or calling 277-2913..
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