When Pentecom moved in 2017 into the old Alamo school and former Palestine Public Library building on Cedar Street, 18-year employee Miria Dean could not imagine Pentecom would outgrow the newly renovated 7,000-foot building in three years.
Pentecom already employs 60 workers, but the data conversion and consulting company is poised to hire dozens more within the next two years, President Kathy Rainbolt told the Herald-Press. “Anyone who has these skills should get in touch with our human resources department,” she said.
Like other workers at Pentecom, Dean supports her family with income and benefits earned at the company, and is amazed at its growth.
“I never worried my job would go away,” she said.
The company hopes to hire at least 10 new employees now: junior programmers, technical writers and illustrators, data technicians, and subject matter experts. More hires will follow, said Rainbolt, who anticipates a 50 percent growth in revenue in 2020 and another 50 percent growth in 2021.
With a new contract from the U.S. Air Force and others from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the 23-year-old company is preparing for growth beyond 2019’s revenue of $3.5 million—regardless of a coming recession. “With our level of expertise, we’ve overcome a lot of barriers,” Rainbolt said.
Pentecom’s owners have found advantages in doing business in Palestine. Operating and overhead costs are low, and the company has been able to hire locals with needed skills, such as proofreading, typing, and attention to detail.
Pentecom values workers’ ability to focus on producing minimal errors. The company’s 10-hour, four-day workweek allows employees to schedule healthcare appointments on Fridays. An achievement-based evaluation system provides opportunities for advancement.
The company moved from two buildings on East Angelina Street, across from the old Memorial Hospital, after purchasing the former library building on Cedar Street from the City of Palestine. At first, the building had twice the needed space, but growth in 2020 will soon warrant another building.
“We’ve grown by leaps and bounds, just since we moved into this building,” Dean said.
Data conversion involves scanning, proofing, and tagging technical text documents into an Extensible Markup Language (XML) format that can be read by humans and computer systems worldwide. Once tagged and indexed, a repairman or flight specialist can electronically access information tagged in a manual to prevent a mishap or possible disaster, such as flight malfunctions.
Kay Banta, a team lead assistant who helps convert data projects with the Patent Office, enjoys her job and appreciates the opportunities for advancement. “The only person in your way of succeeding is yourself,” she said.