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Ribbon cut at new Rajant Corporation facility in Morehead - The Trail Blazer: News

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Ribbon cut at new Rajant Corporation facility in Morehead

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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:39 pm

Drawn to Morehead State University’s space science program, the Pennsylvania-based wireless network company Rajant Corporation now has a facility on East Main Street.

Community leaders cut the ribbon Wednesday afternoon around 5 p.m., finalizing the project that could be an economic boon for Eastern Kentucky.

“We hired six Morehead graduates.” said Barry McElroy, Vice President of Sales at Rajant. “We’ve recently hired another nine, so we have 15 Morehead graduates. We plan to expand to 30 next year.”

McElroy said he sees potential for growth and success in Morehead.

“The university was a big draw for us because of the talent pool,” he added.

Another plus, McElroy noted, was the state-of-the-art technology at the MSU Space Science Center. The nationally acclaimed center will be added to NASA’s Deep Space Network, the fourth site globally to become part of the communications system.

Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers addressed a roomful of local figures, aerospace engineers and Morehead State students at the new facility’s reception.

“This is further proof that we’ve got what it takes,” Rogers said. “I’m here celebrating with you one of the main capital cities of ‘silicon holler.’”

The move to Morehead was announced in March 2015, when Rajant Corporation announced it planned to invest around $762,000 into the project.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Rajant CEO Bob Schena was at the Morehead Conference Center, where NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot, Jr. spoke to the public about MSU's space science program.

“The final push was really the quality of the people,” Schena told WMKY. “The students are sharp, amazingly skilled for undergraduates. The program teaches them skills in more than one area. When we hire them, they’re really productive from the first day.”

Schena said the cooperation of former Morehead State University president Dr. Wayne Andrews and current president Dr. Jay Morgan smoothed the process.

“I personally feel like I kinda fell into a gold mine with the Space Science Center here at Morehead State,” Morgan said. “I feel like this program is certainly a niche program, one of five or so in the nation that really is a ‘blue chip’ program for us.”

Rajant Corporation will work with the MSU SSC to develop “robust orbital wireless networks” in space, using the company’s trademark radio meshing technology and Morehead’s microsatellites.

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