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SHINE president pleased with candidates
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Jeff Thomas, president of SHINE Systems & Technologies, stands next to a sign of the company Tuesday on the second day of a job fair at the Baymont Inn and Suites (formerly the Jameson Inn) in Martinsville. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

The president of SHINE Systems & Technologies said he was “pleasantly surprised” at the applicant pool and skill levels his company found during a two-day job fair held to assess skills among the workforce.

“I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of candidates,” Jeff Thomas said Tuesday as the second day of the job fair ended at the Baymont Inn and Suites (formerly the Jameson Inn) in Martinsville.

About 140 people applied for jobs in person, and when emailed résumés and calls to the company are factored in, Thomas estimated a total of 170 to 180 people had applied and/or expressed an interest in working for the consulting firm that may locate in the Henry County-Martinsville area.

“We will be performing interviews” beginning today, he said.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, 16 interviews had been scheduled, but Thomas was fairly certain the goal of 24 would be reached.

Residents of Henry County and Martinsville, Stuart, Danville and Greensboro, N.C., were among the applicants for jobs that include administrators, training developers, law enforcement trainers, software engineers, business analysts, information and technology (IT) and server specialists, according to previous reports.

Thomas said he anticipates a final decision about the company’s local future early next week. He noted the company hired its first employee — an office manager — who started work Monday.

Negotiations continue on leasing a building, he said, and if the company does locate in Martinsville, it could be operational as early as February.

Thomas said he founded SHINE Systems & Technologies nearly five years ago.

The consulting firm helps clients with research and development, software engineering, business and military intelligence, biometrics, technical training and administrative support, according to previous reports.

He hopes to hire five to seven people here initially, “maybe 10, and certainly as our business grows,” the number of employees will increase, Thomas said. He noted that business doubled last year, and “we expect it will double again this year.”

A graduate of Fieldale-Collinsville High School, Thomas arrived in Martinsville on Monday night after having been gone for more than a decade.

“It’s changed quite a bit,” and there “seems to be a lot of closed businesses” compared to his last trip here about two years after his parents retired, he said.

Jack (now deceased) and Martha Thomas retired 15 years ago and moved from Collinsville to the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area, he said.

“That was the last family I had in the area, and there was nothing to bring me back” until now, Thomas said.

SHINE’s headquarters are in Charlottesville, and it also has operations in Tysons Corner and Shenandoah. The company has customers throughout the country and internationally, according to previous reports.

If the company does locate in Martinsville and Henry County, it will use the “same model that we used in Page County, which I believe has the second highest unemployment rate of any locality in the state,” Thomas said. That “has been a wildly successful model for us.”

SHINE has been in Page County for less than a year, and it employs 16 people there, he said.


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