Eleutian - The Bridge to Globalization


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Sep 9, 2008

Eleutian Technology Makes a Welcome Splash

Lovell Chronicle - It’s kind of coming in under the radar, but an exciting new technology has come to Main Street in Lovell and has brought good-paying jobs with it.

Eleutian Technology has set up shop at 226 East Main with a row of computers using TCT WEST’s high-speed telephone lines for video conferencing to teach English to students in South Korea.

Certified teachers teach English one-on-one to students across the Pacific Ocean, taking advantage of TCT WEST’s high-speed fiber optics and tremendous bandwidth. And they make $15 an hour doing it.

Frankly, it’s just the kind of high-tech industry we’ve been longing for since TCT WEST took us light years ahead of other rural areas throughout the U.S. when it comes to telecommunication technology.

The key to the process is the one-on-one nature of the teaching. Students in classroom settings may learn the technical aspects of the English language – and many are superior to most of us in their knowledge of grammar and usage – but their conversational English is lacking because they have little opportunity to practice with English-speaking people.

That’s where Eleutian comes in. Using Web cams and high-speed links, teachers in Wyoming work with students in Korea, teaching them conversational English. It’s rewarding for the students and teachers alike and has tremendous economic development potential for small Wyoming towns.

The teaching hours are flexible, and the job pays well, especially by the standards of rural America when it comes to part-time jobs. Teachers-turned-homemakers who have found it difficult or impossible to both work and raise a family, or teachers who are retired, can do what they enjoy – teach. And they can do it for just a few hours a week.

What is perhaps most amazing about Eleutian is their dedication to rural Wyoming. After at first looking to start their company in somewhere like Salt Lake City, principles Kent Holiday, Brent Stanger and Mike Moore landed in Ten Sleep due to family connections, and they loved it. Through TCT WEST, the Big Horn Basin offered the telecommunication infrastructure they needed and the founders also discovered a strong work force and enthusiastic support from local communities.

In fact, they said, the Town of Lovell has set the standard for doing everything possible to help the fledging company set up shop here. Lovell is Eleutian’s third stop after Ten Sleep and Powell, and both Stanger and Moore had nothing but praise for Lovell Town Administrator Bart Grant and the Town of Lovell during an open house last Thursday and a presentation to the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce Monday.

Grant, they said, worked hard to find a building, help with arrangements, find equipment and office dividers and prepare the way, while the town council provided support by voting to pay the company’s rent for one year.

As Stanger put it, they could have been a little fish in a big pond in Salt Lake, or they could be a little fish in a little pond, where a community will reach out and welcome them with open arms.

Already, there are around a dozen teachers trained and working for Eleutian in Lovell, and there are some 60 working at the three teaching centers altogether. The company hopes to have 155 teachers working by the end of the year, more than 1,300 by the end of 2008 as the company rapidly expands.

This is cutting-edge stuff, and it’s great for our community – a high-tech, good-paying, non-polluting industry that brings money to Wyoming from overseas.

We applaud TCT WEST for their assistance and technology, Bart Grant and the Town of Lovell for their hard preparation work and folks like the Office Shop in Cowley for donating dividers for the teaching center. It often takes a team effort to make something good happen for economic development, and the new Eleutian Technology teaching center in Lovell is a prime example.

And thank you to the people at Eleutian for believing in small towns.

We’re proud to have Eleutian Technology in our community.

--David Peck