Owning business in Selma means doing it all to this native

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2004

From taking blood samples to fixing computer networks, James Tolbert has done it all. And he’s got a lot more to do.

Tolbert, owner of JT Networks, has owned his own business for a year. He mainly designs and builds computer networks, but he also maintains and repairs them as well as designs web pages.

A network is a group of computers connected to one main computer, known as a server. Tolbert noted that networks are prone to problems like any machine is, but typically once it’s up and running things run smoothly.

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Of course, sometimes things fall apart, and that’s where Tolbert comes in.

Tolbert’s road to owning his own business began at the old Vaughan Hospital. Tolbert mainly took blood samples for various tests. When a job opening in the hospital’s information systems department opened, though, he applied and got the job.

And the road to becoming a network guru began.

Tolbert gained his training from New Horizons, a computer training center in Birmingham. He began working with the hospital’s information systems department, but eventually left to pursue a fulltime gospel ministry. &uot;I’m still doing that,&uot; he said. &uot;I do what you call ‘gospel hip-hop.’&uot;

Tolbert’s most recent album, &uot;In God We Trust,&uot; was released in 2003.

While traveling fulltime, Tolbert visited New York, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida, to name just a few. However, after one year he decided to only tour part time and return to Selma to contract with a local computer company.

He stayed with the company for about 2 1/2 years before forming JT Networks. &uot;I wanted to branch out a little more,&uot; Tolbert said. &uot;To broaden my horizons.&uot;

As a business owner, Tolbert said he has more time to spend with his family and at church. &uot;I want to leave something for my kids,&uot; he said of his business. &uot;To give them the opportunity to take it over if they want. I want them to make choices for themselves.&uot;