Employment Partner Named South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year

Leask Headshot LR

The U.S. Small Business Administration has named ECPI University employment partner Noah Leask the 2013 South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year. Leask is president and chief executive officer of ISHPI Information Technologies, Inc., a cyber-defense business that provides counter-terrorism and cyber warfare services to the U.S. intelligence, security and military communities.

Leask, a service-disabled U.S. Navy veteran, and his wife and fellow Navy veteran, Lisa, started the company out of their home in September 2006. A member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Leask called the business ISHPI, a Chippewa word that means “move forward,” which is exactly what he did. By 2008, the company had landed several multi-year defense contracts and closed the year with just under $2 million in revenue.

By the end of 2012, ISHPI had doubled its revenues over the prior year and garnered multiple business honors. The company currently has 109 employees with facilities in Suffolk and Alexandria, Virginia, and San Antonio, Texas in addition to its Mount Pleasant, South Carolina headquarters.

The company is also dedicated to community service. It has four major community service programs: the Exceptional People Program, supporting programs for the developmentally disabled; Warrior Program, providing mentorship services to veterans and active duty service members; Native American Pride Program, offering undergraduate scholarships to members of the Sault Ste. Marie tribe; and the Save Second Base Program, supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Redskins Select Medical Careers Institute for Massage Therapy

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Washington Redskins training camp is relocating to Richmond this summer and with it comes a tremendous opportunity for students at ECPI University’s School of Health Science, Medical Careers Institute. When campus officials learned the team was interested in selecting a local massage school as a partner, they quickly developed a proposal and the Redskins accepted it.

“To have the opportunity to work on world class athletes is extraordinary,” says Massage Therapy Program Director Ed Simpson who will be overseeing the clinic during training camp. “You cannot replicate this type of learning experience in the classroom. These athletes are built to perform. Their muscles and physiques are unique, which offers a great learning experience for our students.”

Helping Vets in the Workforce

Returning Vet

“The Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF) has been awarded a grant from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Rapid Response Assistance Program for Veterans’ Employment to launch its Military2Manufacturing (M2M) program.

VIF, in partnership with the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), ECPI University, two community colleges, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Virginia Employment Commission, and numerous workforce investment boards, will implement a comprehensive outreach, training and placement service to connect separating veterans with career opportunities in advanced technology industries, like manufacturing, over the next 18 months as a national demonstration program.

“The M2M program will allow us to better serve veterans and their spouses by connecting them with appropriate training for a career in advanced manufacturing,” says ECPI University Business Development Specialist Paul Dockery. “ECPI prides itself on being a military-friendly school and this is another step toward ensuring that we continue to support our veterans.”

Virginia Values Veteran (V3) has identified 136,000 Army Services Members transitioning in 2011 with more to occur in subsequent years. The current veteran unemployment rate is 12.1% and 29.1% for veterans under the age of 24. “Veterans are a great fit for advanced manufacturing but may not possess the right technical skills for these career opportunities,” says VIF President Brent Vassey. “The M2M program will train veterans on core manufacturing technology competencies so that they have the foundational skills to pursue career pathways leading to employment in the manufacturing sector.”

 

Raleigh Faculty Member Wears “Super Geek” as Badge of Honor

CIS faculty member Erla Beegle is no regular geek; she’s a bona fide Super Geek. That’s what the Kramden Institute calls volunteers who lead Corporate Community Service Days. A longtime partner with ECPI’s Raleigh camps, this nonprofit organization refurbishes computers that would otherwise be discarded and donates them to schools and middle-school children in economic need.

Under the guidance of a Super Geek like Erla, companies “rent” Kramden for the day with a tax-deductible donation and then send employees who help refurbish the computers. When they’re finished, those once discarded machines are ready to hum back to life, complete with Microsoft Windows 7, web browsers, and anti-virus installed. Thus far, Kramden has distributed over 10,000 computers in its quest to bridge the digital divide.
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ECPI Student Helps Build Mobile App for Teachers

ECPI University student Brad Nicholson was among a select group of students invited to participate in Dominion Enterprises’ most recent Hackathon, an intense two-day app development competition that assembles teams of software programmers, graphic designers, product developers and students to channel their creative energies into mobile applications aimed at learning.

With support from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and The Learning Registry, the event produced an array of new applications designed for schools and teachers, all of which have been made publicly available to foster ongoing development within the open-source community, DOE, and school systems nationwide. Among the 10 groups of competitors, Brad’s team – The Leftovers – created an app that National Geographic is expecting to put into immediate use as data collection and retrieval tool.