Investing in broad range of brain power

By John Larrabee
Contributing Writer
Cranston-based Taco Inc. has a long history of developing new heating and air-conditioning technologies, including such advances as the tankless water heater, zone valves and vertical pumps. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



FASTEST GROWING & MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES

Investing in broad range of brain power

PBN PHOTO/NATALJA KENT
BUILDING ON EDUCATION: Shawmut Design and Construction Project Manager Joe Raposa, left, discusses Taco’s new education center with Taco Executive Vice President B. Christopher Integlia.
By John Larrabee
Contributing Writer
Posted 9/24/12

Cranston-based Taco Inc. has a long history of developing new heating and air-conditioning technologies, including such advances as the tankless water heater, zone valves and vertical pumps.

But when asked about their company’s greatest innovations, executives at the company often point to training and education programs offered to employees and their families.

At the company’’s learning centers in Cranston and Fall River, you’ll find employees enrolled in regular classes on repair and maintenance of Taco equipment. But it doesn’t end there. The company also provides dozens of courses on everything from personal financial planning and basic math to gardening and art appreciation.

Talk to company leaders, and they’ll insist there’s a payoff. “We … have always believed that our employees are our most important company asset,” says B. Christopher Integlia, executive vice president for Taco’’s residential division. “Their professional and personal development make us a better company.”

Taco, a family-owned company with a 90-year history, is one of the top manufacturers for pumps, controls and other parts used in heating and air-conditioning equipment. Annual sales now top $200 million. The company employs more than 500 people at its Cranston headquarters and at facilities in Fall River and Ontario, Canada.

The Taco Learning Center, developed by the company’’s human resources department, opened in 1992. The main focus, of course, has always been helping employees gain new job skills. Some students learn English as a second language, or work toward obtaining a high school equivalency diploma.

But it doesn’t end there: the center also offers courses in such wide-ranging subjects as home economics, public speaking, aerobics and first aid. Teachers are a mix of Taco staff and professional educators employed by the company part time.

The learning center even provides employees with the opportunity to earn an MBA degree at Johnson & Wales University, or take courses in leadership and development at Roger Williams University. The company picks up tuition bills.

According to Integlia, enrollment in classes tops 470 a year.

Company President John Hazen White Jr., whose grandfather founded the company, recently expanded the learning center with an $18 million addition at the Cranston headquarters. The new facility, known as the Innovation and Development Center, is fitted with all the latest HVAC technologies – such as radiant heating and cooling and Web-based controls – so that employees as well as students from outside the company can study the equipment. The building is also used for research and development.

“It’s a wonderful showcase for our industry, where members of our professional community will learn about the latest technology,” White said in a recent press release. •

Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • Healthiest Employers
    See who the Healthiest Employers in RI are! And save the date - August 14th - at ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    Thank you to our sponsors and to all those who attended the 10th Anniversary of ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement