By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
(Editor’s note: This is the second in an occasional series of stories that will feature the companies and industries creating jobs in the region.)
When Taco Inc. of Cranston celebrated the opening of its new Innovation & Development Center on June 18, the official ceremony felt more like a family get-together. Dignitaries mingled with employees, touring the new state-of-the-art facility. John H. White Jr., president of Taco, and his staff, wouldn’t want it any other way.
The company manufactures hydronic heating equipment, systems that use water to transfer heat. They also specialize in ventilation and air-conditioning equipment for domestic, commercial and industrial applications.
One key to continued success is that Taco always has made commitments to its employees, customers, suppliers and the community.
And at the front of the line are the firm’s employees, said Kyle A. Adamonis, senior vice president and a 27-year veteran of the company. “As John White Jr. says, if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you and your customers. Every employee is treated as a stakeholder and as an individual. Nobody has a number, and everyone is treated well, and we have relationships with people, both at the employee level and at the customer level,” she said.
Another key to the company’s success is its commitment to education, and the Innovation & Development Center is the company’s centerpiece. The $20 million addition updates the company’s factory, creating a two-story, 24,000-square-foot addition that includes classrooms, several laboratories and a business center. It also features the latest in HVAC technology.
“We are pretty well-known for our education programs,” White said. “We were always ahead on that, we were doing it back in the 1980s.”
White’s company does a small amount of manufacturing overseas, and Taco is not benefiting from goods that used to be made in China returning to America. “I knew the trend of making things overseas would be cyclical,” he said, citing countries like Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea that have each had their moment in the manufacturing spotlight.