EMPLOYEE TRAINING & EDUCATION
An Early Pioneer in Workplace Training & Education
Taco Comfort Solutions was an early pioneer in workplace training and education, establishing the Taco Learning Center (TLC) in the early 1990s by designating space for classrooms, labs, and a library/reading room within its Cranston facility for a dual purpose, which continues to this day:
- Train Taco workers in job-related skills and tasks
- Provide educational & personal enrichment opportunities
The Innovation and Development Center
As Taco moved into the 21st Century, the Taco Learning Center struggled to keep up with the volume of individuals using its facilities. The need for state of the art audio-visual, web, and digital capabilities sparked John Hazen White, Jr. to embark on an ambitious $20 million capital expenditure program to create a new training facility. This two-story building addition would also include new offices and meeting spaces as well as a series of state-of-the-art equipped classrooms. Thus, the Innovation and Development Center (IDC) was born.
Opportunities for Personal Advancement
Today, Taco also provides its employees opportunities for educational and personal enrichment through courses and programs offered at its Innovation and Development Center (IDC). Over the years, Taco employees have been able to take English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship and GED classes, classes dealing with hobbies and personal pursuits, as well as general study classes on a range of subjects. Employees seeking degrees can also take advantage of full tuition reimbursement for associate, bachelor and Master’s level degree programs.
In addition to Roger Williams University and the University of Rhode Island, other RI-based schools that have worked with Taco in providing educational opportunities for employees include CCRI, Bryant University, Johnson & Wales, and Rhode Island College.
Taco production employees take on-the-job training in job-related skills and tasks. Taco also cross-trains its production workers so they can fill-in or be assigned to new tasks in the cell-focused production process. While there is automation equipment on the Taco floor, much of the assembly process is hands-on, so cross-training allows all members in a cell to perform each individual function in the process.
A Showcase and Living Laboratory
The IDC contains multiple classrooms, labs and meeting rooms as well as new office areas and a library. The building was designed to showcase the latest in energy-saving and sustainable products from Taco Comfort Solutions® and provide “Living Laboratories” of installed and operational products for hands-on demonstrations and teaching purposes.
A Destination for Industry Training
The IDC is a destination for architects, mechanical engineers, HVAC contractors, plumbers and other industry professionals from all over the world. It’s a place where they can learn about and experience first-hand the latest heating and cooling technologies from Taco Comfort Solutions®. Employee training and education continues as well within this new facility. This powerful combination of technology and education makes the Taco IDC a truly unique and innovative facility, and was awarded LEED Gold for its green technology and sustainable features.
Why teach a few dozen in a classroom when you can teach thousands online? In the 1990’s John Hazen White Jr. grasped the potential of online learning when it was in its infancy. His vision and commitment to leading the industry in free web-based learning for engineers and contractors alike has kept Taco at the forefront of this technology, much to the gratitude of its customers.