As applications for the 2009 Inc. 500 | 5000 arrive, we thought it would be worthwhile to shine a spotlight on some of the companies that are vying to appear on our ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. (For more information and to apply, go to One that caught our eye was Rolling Meadows, Illinois-based < a href="">Train Signal.

There's nothing worse than a terribly-timed computer glitch at work. And there's nothing better than a savvy IT professional who can fix it right away. Well-trained IT professionals are Train Signal's end goal. They create and sell DVD-based computer training lessons, led by "best of the breed" instructors who teach professionals all about the computer programs they choose.

When CEO Scott Skinger started the company in 2002, he realized that while most people attended expensive classes for computer training, much of the curriculum was sub-par. "Basically people would get paper certifications, but then they couldn't find jobs or they just were not able to do computer networking," he says.

Train Signal can replace those classes altogether. "We boil it all down to an easier to digest format," he says.

While there were initially only three Train Signal products, now they offer 38. In addition, they're building their presence globally. A quarter of their business is now international. "We ship worldwide to 150 different countries," says Skinger.

Train Signal was selected for the Inc. 5000 last year, ranking at No. 1,098, so he's hoping to secure a spot again this year.

"We benefited last year from the exposure," he says. And with only 15 full-time employees, everyone is proud when the company is recognized. "From a morale standpoint, it's a great thing to share with the employees."

For more information and to apply to the 2009 Inc. 500|5000, go to