A $1.4 million agreement to put an interactive design center in Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTTC) in North Carolina was recently signed between the college, Navigator Development Group Inc. of Alabama and EON Reality of California. On hand for the signing were (from left) Navigator Chairman of the Board Albert L. Patterson III, EON Executive Vice President Sean O'Brien and FTTC President Larry Keen. ENTERPRISE, Ala. - What began as a commitment to put wounded warriors back to work has turned into a great rural workforce development opportunity. Navigator Development Group Inc. of Enterprise, Ala., and EON Reality of Irvine, Calif., formed a partnership to build an interactive 3-D visualization workforce. On Oct. 19 an interactive design center (IDC) agreement was signed between Navigator, EON and Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The $1.4 million agreement will include four full-time Navigator employees and one part-time EON employee to establish and implement a workforce development infrastructure while leveraging interactive 3-D technology for local economic development opportunities. Navigator and EON Reality are part of an IDC consortium that will provide more than $4 million worth of equipment to FTCC for the creation of the IDC. Members of the consortium also include Hewlett Packard, ChristieDigital, NVidia and Microsoft. The goal of the consortium is to assist organizations and schools by providing technology and know-how so that education institutions are equipped to graduate a new generation of simulation professionals to meet a rapidly growing market demand. The goal for each IDC created varies in its industry focus, however the FTCC charter is to be: a self-sustaining center of excellence that will not only graduate disabled American veterans but provide capabilities in the area of creating simulation based learning curriculum to support local industry and the newly created All American Defense corridor that surrounds Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Navigator and EON are also looking to replicate this same model in Alabama. "We've taken the initial steps in Alabama to put the same infrastructure in place to help train the workforce and create a rural workforce development opportunity needed to meet international 3D development programs," said Albert L. Patterson III, chairman of the board and co-founder of Navigator. FTCC graduates in this technology will become part of a talented workforce for the region using their simulation skills to enhance safety processes; improve product sales; and establish an emerging world-class workforce that is responsive to rapidly growing global requirements. The FTCC initiative represents only a first step for North Carolina as they are moving quickly to establish multiple IDCs throughout other North Carolina educational institutions. Today's global 3-D market is an estimated $77 billion industry, but there are not enough skilled workers. "The opportunity we started at FTCC represents a growing trend in an industry with a $69 billion shortfall in a workforce skilled in this technology," said Sean O'Brien, executive vice president of EON Reality. "What better way to take the enthusiasm and energy of a disabled veteran, young college student or military spouse, and shore up this opportunity. This is not only great for disabled American veterans, but itï¿½s a great workforce development initiative." FTCC will offer a 16-week certificate program to be implemented in the IDC beginning with the first term in 2008 to train students in Computer Aided Design (CAD), Geographic Information System (GIS), advanced visualization and C# program technologies. "Not only will this benefit wounded warriors, but it is a great opportunity for youngsters just starting out, or those wanting a career change," Patterson said. "Now our children and grandchildren don't have to leave home to find good paying jobs, and our wounded warriors can return to the homes from which they came re-enabled to continue providing for their families." "We are proud to make good on our commitment, especially to those wounded warriors," he said. With 62 of 119 employees at Navigator being categorized as disabled veterans, putting wounded warriors back to work has long been the corporate culture for the company, which is a service disabled veteran-owned business named the National Disabled American Veteran (DAV) National Small Business of the Year for 2007. With its global headquarters located in Enterprise, and one of its regional headquarters in Huntsville, Navigators' three core competencies include requirement determination, documentation and procurement; strategic planning' training and technologies; and operations and maintenance. Founded in 1997, Navigator has successfully provided global business solutions in support of the U.S. defense marketplace, international construction and introduction of innovative technologies for members of the Global 1000.
A $1.4 million agreement to put an interactive design center in Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTTC) in North Carolina was recently signed between the college, Navigator Development Group Inc. of Alabama and EON Reality of California. On hand for the signing were (from left) Navigator Chairman of the Board Albert L. Patterson III, EON Executive Vice President Sean O'Brien and FTTC President Larry Keen. ENTERPRISE, Ala. - What began as a commitment to put wounded warriors back to work has turned into a great rural workforce development opportunity. Navigator Development Group Inc. of
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