Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Working on the First Coast; Veterans a Good Fit for Orion Solutions Business Gets Contracts to Work on Projects Involving Military Systems

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Working on the First Coast; Veterans a Good Fit for Orion Solutions Business Gets Contracts to Work on Projects Involving Military Systems

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

Acrylic containers house a series of cables surrounded by saltwater as part of an experiment to see if a chemical coating can prevent corrosion on one of the many pieces of equipment that the U.S. Navy uses.

The small room off Deerwood Park on Jacksonville's Southside with specifically aimed lighting and time-lapse cameras capturing the evolution of the experiment is indicative of some of the government contracts that Orion Solutions LLC finds itself in after 10 years of operations.

Rick Hoffman is the owner and founder of the business that bills itself as a "service disabled, veteran-owned small business." Hoffman, himself a Navy veteran, has specialized in hiring military veterans to help handle the contracts that will likely generate a projected $3 million in annual revenue this year. That figure could rise to $4 million to $5 million in 2014.

Ryland Reamy, vice president of operations for Orion Solutions, is one of those military veterans who made the transition from a Navy career that ended in 2006 at Mayport Naval Station to the defense contractor that now has 18 employees.

Reamy said Orion Solutions takes mostly government projects involving technical and tactical training on military operating systems. They also provide curriculum development, instructional design, equipment design and leadership training.

From his office on Centurion Parkway, Reamy said Orion Solutions has found its niche in a specialized industry.

Do many people know what you do? Do you have to explain that a lot?

It's only a niche if you're not involved in that area of expertise or services as a service provider. If you're working with the [U.S.] Department of Defense or federal government and you're working in the contracting areas and you're providing services and goods to the government, then everyone that you end up working with or for knows exactly what you do. Outside of that, you do have to explain it.

For somebody outside the industry, can you explain what you do when you get contracts? …

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