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Growth Helps GST Sustain Partnerships, Times West Virginian

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By, Jessica Legge
Brian Bell, vice president and general manager of GST, said these new employees will support the company’s partnership with DB Consulting Group.

The joint venture, which is called Diversified Global Partners, exists to secure partnerships through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the CLASS contract, which stands for Comprehensive Large Array data Stewardship System, he said.

“Basically the emphasis behind CLASS is to support NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service that archives and disseminates environmental data all over the world,” Bell said. “(It) serves the purpose of everything from climate warming research to weather prediction and understanding climate and weather patterns.”

Donald Mack is president of Diversified Global Partners, which is the prime contractor for CLASS. He also serves as the project manager for CLASS. Diversified Global Partners is a limited liability company in which GST serves in the mentor role and DB Consulting is the protege, he said.

“It actually facilitates the growing of small businesses with revenue and capability,” Mack said.

He said the joint venture has already built a pretty significant technical capability in Fairmont, with roughly half of its software development team located there and the rest in Maryland. Much of its support functions are in West Virginia as well.

"CLASS is a system for the long-time archival of climate-related data," Mack said. "Currently, most of the data in the archive is satellite remote sensing data, but the archive of ocean data is being built up."

“It just makes a lot of sense for NOAA to store this stuff in one place instead of in hundreds of smaller archives," he said.

The partnership is two years old, and this is the second year of the CLASS contract. Bell said the 30 additional workers will be hired for the new tasks that have been awarded in terms of evolving the CLASS project. The positions will be filled immediately to meet those needs.

Diversified Global Partners is specifically looking for information technology professionals, including systems engineers, application engineers, test engineers and application programmers. Most of the new employees will be located in West Virginia, and the others will work in Maryland.

“I would say it’s definitely significant in terms of continuing to grow the GST operations in West Virginia,” Bell said. “I think it’s also significant in that the project continues to grow as well.”

These positions will benefit the community by bringing new professionals into the area, he said.

GST, founded in 1991, includes a workforce of specialists in engineering, science, communications and information technology. The business, which has around 200 employees, has contracts with NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the state of West Virginia.

“We’re happy to be able to contribute to the continued growth of the I-79 Corridor,” Bell said. “One of the goals that GST has is to bring other companies into West Virginia.”

With the CLASS contract, DB Consulting Group will be relocating some of its employees into an office with GST, he said.

“CLASS provides us with a great ability to leverage off of and go after other types of work like this,” Bell said.

Mack said GST and DB Consulting both have the chance to grow through these recruiting efforts. GST could add more capability in terms of its science applications, and DB Consulting could increase its capability in the science information technology market.

“We’re definitely providing more technical jobs that are relatively high paid compared to other kinds of work,” Mack said. “Once you start a technology community, then other companies see value into moving into that area and growing. You have to have a base of technologies to continue to grow technology businesses.

“I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to grow our staff in West Virginia. We’ve had a great deal of success up to now with hiring very qualified people with a lot of passion and good work ethic.”

E-mail Jessica Legge at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009