Service-Disabled Vet gives back to the local community through business

TriOrb Solutions of Pinellas County

TriOrb Solutions of Pinellas CountyThere are people in the world who live their lives to serve others. Local Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) owner Joseph Hall is one of these people.

Hall served his country for the last 24 years and continues to serve with eight years of active duty in the Marine Corps and 16 years in the Navy Reserve. He built his business around helping his community by adjunct teaching at St. Petersburg College and developing and managing an apprenticeship program. TriOrb Solutions (TriOrb) is dedicated to mentoring future information technology and telecommunication technicians.

“The military has blessed me with a great deal in the past 24 years and I’m thankful that I’ve served my country,” Hall said. “My time in the military provided and continues to provide deep experience and insight in logistics, human resources, information warfare and information technology. My experience working in multifaceted technology ecosystems has provided the insight of how all the different pieces work within an organization. That’s what makes my company better than most. We see how technology connects. We know how to explain it to our customers, expressing it in layman terms. It helps our clients to evolve their environments and enables them to do better things.”

Hall is also no stranger to hiring fresh, young talent. When he launched TriOrb in 2012, he had no employees. Now his staff of 15 employees consists mostly of prior military veterans, recent college graduates, and interns.

He attributes the workforce growth to the help he received from Florida PTAC at Pinellas County Economic Development procurement specialist, Yolanda Cowart.

“TriOrb experienced its first growth spurt with the help of United Data Technologies (UDT) through the State of Florida Mentor-Protégé Program,” he said. “I ran back to Yolanda and told her, ‘I have five employees and one part-time employee. I need to make sure TriOrb have everything locked down and squared away for this immediate growth.’”

To assist, Cowart connected Joseph to CareerSource Pinellas at St. Petersburg College. The St. Petersburg College Apprenticeship team, CareerSource Pinellas, and Learning Alliance Corporation worked with TriOrb in submitting a proposal in which TriOrb teamed with the U.S. Department of Labor to help others find careers in cybersecurity, low voltage, fiber installer and IT industries.

“The teaming arrangement made it possible for us to stand up our cyber apprenticeship training program, our general IT training program, and our fiber and low voltage training program,” he said. “These programs are vital in the technology industry. We start by pulling the cable, installing network equipment, implementing user engagements and securing the technology ecosystems. We do this by providing someone that has minimal network knowledge with on-the-job training just like how I received in the military. This hands-on approach ensures they understand the principles behind what they’re doing. They also receive certification through the State of Florida.”

Cowart assisted TriOrb in finding proper legal counsel and financing so that Hall could expand to a second location in Winter Park, Fl.

He has come a long way over the years, considering he first turned to Florida PTAC at PCED for certification assistance.

“I reached out to Yolanda at the Florida PTAC in Pinellas County to help me build my business plan, to help me figure out how I can effectively build this business, and how I can go after government contracts,” he said.

“A key TriOrb initiative we started with was working on TriOrb’s SDVOSB certification and HUBZone certification.”

The Florida PTAC at PCED help guided TriOrb to successfully acquiring its’ SDVOSB, Florida State Minority Supplier Diversity Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), HUBZone and Florida Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).

“Yolanda was a blessing in disguise for me,” he continued. “When I first started around seven years ago, I was clueless in a few things about creating a business or growing a business. Yolanda helped develop a business plan, strategic plan and showed how to apply it to real-world scenarios. She gave me a few small milestones I needed to reach before my moving on to the next level.”

He added that Cowart, Florida PTAC at PCED, and Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida enabled him to start his business, learn more about government contracting, and learn where to find financial support.

Though he has come a long way with the help of the Florida PTAC at Pinellas County, Hall said his work with Cowart is not done.

“Since I started working with Yolanda, I’ve grown from local contracts to government contracts. Yolanda will continue to be a valuable asset to the growth of my company. Right now, we’re working on getting TriOrb onto the GSA schedule, which I intend to leverage with all the certifications we have.”

Hall has experienced many successes while working with Cowart and the Florida PTAC at PCED, but there are some in particular that stick out to him. “Our biggest success has been building our commercial and government pipeline, and networking with other businesses making a difference along the I-4 corridor. Yolanda has helped me so much with getting in front of the right people to show them our can do, will do and shall do mentality.”