have managed to grow the business throughout the downturn, and also help the company’s workforce obtain the education and training necessary to remain competitive in their industries.
Seeking High Returns in Growth Industries
SoBran (named after Otis’ two children, Somá and Brandon) is divided into two divisions.
• The engineering and logistics division designs and implements solutions for engineering, logistics, homeland security, anti-terrorism, infrastructure, and environmental protection challenges. This includes warehouse management, supply chain management, workforce management, and logistical assistance.
• The CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear, and explosive) protective services division oversees the assessment, training, design, and operation of mail screening facilities to prevent mail-borne attacks.
Among the services the company offers are managing animal programs for researchers—everything from cleaning cages to veterinary technical support for veterinarians or scientists involved in animal-based research. “I think right now the greatest growth is going to be in our academic and commercial work,” says Gregory Kelly, Ph.D., SoBran’s senior vice president of biomedical services. SoBran currently has contracts with seven academic institutions.
Profile in Achievement
Matt Sweatt is one employee who has benefited from SoBran’s workforce education programs. Sweatt joined the company in May 2002. The then 22-year-old was part of a team that screened mail for the U.S. Army. Essentially, he used engineering controls to ensure that people opening the mail won’t become contaminated if there was a chemical threat present.
Though happy to gain employment after his tour in Bosnia with the U.S. Army National Guard, he always wanted to finish his education, having joined the military at the age of 17. “It was always a monetary drawback,” he says. “The tuition reimbursement really mitigated that