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Carousel Industries hires CCRI grads
The Network Operations Center at Carousel Industries, the technology company headquartered in Exeter, R.I., has the name, look and feel of a high-tech command room. Employees keep a watchful eye on operations all over the globe, working to correct “alarms” and prevent technical problems in a world-spanning communications infrastructure.
Carousel works with business clients to provide data storage and voice and video communications. This rapidly growing company is always looking for new graduates with the right technical skills, and many of them in recent years have come from the Community College of Rhode Island.
“Our experience is that everyone who comes to us from CCRI has strong communication skills … whether they’re in finance, accounting or a technical role,” Carousel Industries Technical Director Richard Houlihan said. “We find that they’re able to work in a team or group environment and we find that the business etiquette is there right out of college and as soon as we hire them. That’s not always the case with college-age employees or new hires that we bring in.”
The company has hired 20 CCRI alumni in the last year, mostly to work as Networking Operations Center engineers and field engineers. These are graduates skilled in technologies such as VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), video and data infrastructure. Others have worked in accounting and marketing.
The new hires are working in a technological landscape that is rapidly changing. Personal technology used to be divided between a cellular phone, a pager, a laptop and other gadgets, Houlihan explained. Today, all those tools have converged into one: the iPhone and other smart devices.
“It has made all of our lives easier but, for the people who have to manage it, it’s become a lot more complicated,” he said about this convergence. Houlihan added that the data infrastructure required to run all of this new technology while managing online security threats has greatly expanded.
At the same time, companies are reducing their information technology staff because of the slowed economy, and Carousel has stepped into this gap, providing a range of services to clients around the world.
“Starting [20 years ago] from our small original office below a deli in Charlestown, R.I., our company now has 28 offices across the United States,” Houlihan said. “We service over 6,000 customers around the globe and we work with a third of the Fortune 50.”
Although it has an international reach, Carousel is staying connected to its local roots through community service work and its close partnership with CCRI. This partnership is about to unfold in a new way as Carousel employees prepare to attend a CCRI workshop on management skills. The eight-hour program offered by the college’s Center for Workforce and Community Education will focus on “The Three R’s” of management: renewal, resiliency and relationships.
“In light of our relationship … it just made obvious sense for us to utilize CCRI for that content,” Houlihan said. He added that because Carousel managers are often promoted from within, they have not always had classroom experience in business management.
As the technology industry continues to change, Houlihan said his company will stay abreast of new trends as well as keep CCRI informed about what modern businesses are looking for in new employees. In short, Carousel is committed to keeping up with the ever-changing technology industry just as CCRI is committed to keeping up with the ever-changing employment needs of businesses.