Four years ago Jason Gibson was working at U-Haul managing 70 dealer locations in Orange County, California.
He made the decision to enroll in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) program at Orange Coast College (OCC), and today he is a regional account manager for Pakedge Device and Software Inc.
To show his appreciation for the Costa Mesa, Calif. community college, Gibson approached upper-level executives from Pakedge to arrange a donation of over $200,000 in networking hardware to the ICT Program.
10 routers, 24 network switches, 12 power controllers, 181 access points, and an access point controller were included in the donation. The objective is to help students gain hands-on experience with high performance systems and apply that knowledge to future careers.
“When Jason came to us with the idea, we were very supportive,” said Nick Phillips, Vice President of Sales at Pakedge. “In the A/V industry, IP networking technologies play an important role—more and more products are becoming Internet-enabled while services like Netflix are now deliverable through streaming.
“Today, there is a real shortage of trained network technicians who can design, manage and maintain these systems. We’re always putting together training webinars and training classes for our dealers, but having the opportunity to educate and train a whole new pool of students who can enter this industry is a big deal. By supporting the ICT program at OCC, we can give more people like Jason a head start and open doors to fulfilling careers in a very dynamic industry.”
Gibson still enrolls in occasional ICT courses at the college and plans to continue taking them in the future.
“Sometimes I even take the same class more than once,” he said. “It’s a nice refresher because technology changes so quickly that you have to stay on top of what’s current. That way, I can assist my clients with exactly what they need and understand the current technology they’re using.”
Professor William Saichek, ICT Program coordinator, called the donation “a wonderful opportunity that few colleges have.”