Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee Virgie Cole Helen J Damron Karen S Lockhart Donna M Pelfrey Russell D Pollitt, Sr Karen S Lockhart Harris named Director of Shelter for the Homeless Local candidates abundant on November ballot Senior Profile: McKinlee Grooms Lady Dragons finish third in district golf tourney Lady Devils challenged, but survive to extend SHAC streak to 60 Rally falls short, Lady Hounds fall in five sets to Fairfield Senior Profile: Jessica Newman Lady Indians get shutout win over West Union, 2-0 Erwins host annual Herb Fair Bentonville: A community at the crossroads of Adams County history Tranquility, Wilson Homestead host annual Heritage Days Why we get back up Your local newspaper, the real deal Welcome to the morning klatch Oleda F Saunders Frank A Golden Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know

Opening the door for high-tech jobs

Temporarily working out of a classroom at the old Bentonville School, the newly hired trainees of Artectis learn the ins and outs of high-tech jobs that have made their way to Adams County.


Tech company believes rural communities can compete for outsourced jobs –

Story and photos by Patricia Beech –

Could high-tech jobs currently outsourced to India be successfully transplanted to rural areas like Adams County?
Two men think it’s not only possible, but probable – and the bottom line – highly profitable.
C.L. “Skip” Wagner and Zane Mingee, both Manchester natives, have entered an agreement with a Cincinnati-based computer-server company to train local residents to do high-tech jobs currently being done by workers in other countries.
“Jobs coming to Adams County is amazing news,” says Wagner in an exclusive interview with The Defender. “And, the fact that they’re pretty advanced, high-tech jobs takes it to a whole other level.”
Wagner, a computer whiz kid and high school drop out who by the age of 17 was traveling the world working as an Integration Engineer for a computer service company, now holds the position of Business Development Manager in Mingee’s company, Artectis.
Over 80% of Artectis clients are big data analytics companies who collect data and use it for market research that allows them to target online advertisements that will generate more traffic to their business websites. The data gathered by these companies is stored on servers which are maintained and supported by Artectis.
“One of our long-time clients was paying a company in another country for server maintenance, and the support they were getting was really horrible even though they were paying them quite a lot of money,” said Wagner. “So I pitched a radical idea to them – let Artectis find and train local people who can take over as your support team.”
Wagner admits the company was skeptical about their ability to produce a competitive workforce.
“I explained we were both from a place where the average annual income per household in the 2010 census was $16,750,” he said. “After a lot of prodding from myself and Zane, they finally agreed that if we trained the people and matched the price they were currently paying, they’d let us have the work.”
Wagner says that many Americans buy into the myth that people in other countries work for pennies on the hour. “That isn’t the reality,” he says. “I can hire a programmer in India for $15 an hour, but I’d rather hire someone here in Adams County, especially with the closing of the power plants and the loss of millions in tax-based revenue – we need to explore every avenue and ask ourselves what we have to offer that no one else does – a work force that’s eager to work.”

These workers are the beginning of a new tech company in Adams County, Artectis. From left, C.L. “Skip” Wagner, Ray Littleton, Kamen Monroe, Mark Monroe, Kyle Monroe, Shawna Ballingee, Damien Morgan, and Zane Mingee.

After conducting over 150 interviews, Mingee and Wagner chose nine local people for the training program.
“We’ve got a class full of folks who, honestly at the start of training knew very little about what this industry is about, or how to do any of the work they are now doing on a daily basis,” says Wagner.  “They’re figuring out problems on their own in very complex systems that two weeks ago they had no concept of.”
According to Wagner, the trainees are learning how networks function, how to repair servers, how to modify and migrate data between servers, how to monitor servers and spot problems, and how to configure new servers for new clients.
“I wasn’t at all familiar with Linux systems, and they took a chance on me,” says trainee Shawna Ballingee. “Doing this training from the base up has demonstrated that these are learnable skills that don’t require a strong base knowledge,”
“I see a great future for these technology-based jobs in this area,” said Ray Littleton who was chosen to participate in the training program. A former FedEx employee, Littleton say he spent three hours a day commuting to and from work. “Normally, to get this type of job you’d have to drive for a couple of hours, I think it’s great they’re bringing this work here.”
“People do not put much faith in folks from Appalachia, but people here are some of the most hard-working and honest people in the world,” says Wagner. “They’ve just never been able to get a fair shake at things and many opportunities have simply never been here.  We want to change that and we believe with the scale of the economies in areas like Adams County, many, many more corporations will move to models like this.
“We’re leading the charge and we’ve managed to figure out a way to make this work on all levels – the talent, the training, the pure business of it all, and the dollars and cents.”

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