Tag Archives: tech

Concentrix files official layoff notice with state

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Concentrix gave the state official notice Wednesday of plans to close its East Bremerton call center.

As we reported last week, the closure will impact about 500 employees.

concxlogo_business-983x3001The official WARN notice reports 520 positions are being cut, though Concentrix spokeswoman Jyllene Miller told me fewer than 500 people are currently employed at the center.

Miller said the displaced employees will be given priority for “a few hundred” work-at-home jobs Concentrix is hiring for.

The center is slated to close March 4, according to the WARN notice. Concentrix will continue paying employees through March 28.

A team from the local WorkSource office is responding to the call center to provide employees with information about unemployment insurance claims, retraining opportunities and job leads. Kitsap WorkSource Administrator Margaret Hess said a forum for employees is being planned.

This isn’t the only WARN notice being filed by a Kitsap employer this week. We also received word defense contractor BAE Systems will lay off 68 workers in Silverdale by the end of March.

Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

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Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below:  Continue reading

Virginia Mason adds virtual care clinic

VMPatients can now consult with Virginia Mason health professionals face-to-face without leaving home.

The Seattle-based medical group announced the launch of a “virtual care clinic” Wednesday that links providers with patients via video-conferencing. The service is available to both existing and new Virginia Mason patients, according to a news release.

Providers can diagnose ailments, recommend courses of treatment and prescribe medications through the virtual clinic. The cost is $35.

Most insurance plans don’t cover virtual care, though that’s beginning to change. Virginia Mason’s online clinic is not available to Medicaid or Medicare clients.

Virginia Mason joins a growing number of health care groups offering virtual care and telemedicine. CHI Franciscan Health, parent company of Harrison Medical Center, recently opened its virtual urgent care portal to Kitsap County patients. 

Virginia Mason has also expanded services locally with the addition of no-appointment urgent care on Bainbridge Island. 

The website for Virginia Mason Virtual Care Clinic is virginiamason.org/Virtual-Clinic.

CoderDojo finds permanent home

CodeDojo_17743908_ver1.0_640_480West Sound CoderDojo, a free computer programing workshop for kids, has landed a permanent home at Western Washington University’s Olympic College center in Poulsbo.

West Sound Technology Association booted up the CoderDojo this spring as a nomadic program, offering courses at different places around the county. The partnership with WWU will give coders a consistent meeting space.

West Sound Coder Dojo’s first class at the WWU center in Poulsbo will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 11. Tickets are free but registration is required.

You can read more about CoderDojo’s move here and find my story about the program here. 

Check the West Sound Technology Association website for information about upcoming classes.

Fundraiser launched for West Sound CoderDojo

CodeDojo_17743908_ver1.0_640_480Last Saturday I sat in on the first meeting of West Sound CoderDojo.

The group was organized by West Sound Technology Association to offer computer programming classes to kids and their parents, as part of the global CoderDojo movement. 

The Saturday classes are free for participants and staffed by volunteers, but of course they cost money to host.

CoderDojo meetings require large gathering spaces with Wi-Fi connectivity, and the group tries to provide loaner laptops for kids who don’t have them.

West Sound CoderDojo just launched a GoFundMe campaign to help fund their courses. The group is hoping to raise $10,000. The campaign is posted here.

$100M investment announced by Avalara

gI_113668_PrimaryLogo_Tagline_RGB_Bainbridge Island sales tax software firm Avalara announced a $100 million investment Monday.

The injection of capital came from an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, according to a news release.

“This investment by Warburg Pincus will allow us to put more dollars to work in our growth initiatives,” Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said in the announcement. “It also validates our fundamental belief that sales tax compliance automation is inevitable, and Avalara is at the forefront of this movement.”

According to the release, the company’s growth plans include international expansion and strategic acquisitions. Including the investment by Warburg Pincus, Avalara has raised more than $200 million since 2004.

Avalara provides cloud-based software that helps companies comply with complex sales tax requirements. The company’s headquarters are located in the Island Gateway development, near Highway 305.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Warburg Pincus investment comes amid rumors Avalara could go public.

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

Bainbridge Island’s Avalara raises $30 million

Avalara, a Winslow tech firm providing automated sales tax compliance tools, announced a $30 million fundraising round last week.

The investments will help the company build its technology and business Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said in a news release.

“Avalara is proud of its growth and excited about completing this latest financing round,” he said in the release.

Avalara has raised more than $100 million since opening in 2004.