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TARIFF IMPACTS: Rhode Island Manufacturers Association Executive Director David Chenevert said the impact of tariffs and the slowing of the world economy has affected businesses differently in Rhode Island. Manufacturers focused on the aerospace or medical-industry markets are doing fine, he said, because defense spending has increased and the medical industry is growing. Companies producing products for the automotive industry, however, are seeing an impact because auto sales are down nationally.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

U.S. trade war with China has brought pain, uncertainty

The initial tariffs imposed in 2018 on imports from China didn’t affect Cooley Group, a Pawtucket-based company that manufactures an array of engineered materials,...

Taco Comfort Solutions 0018e App-connected Circulator

THE STORY: As Taco Comfort Solutions approaches its centennial in 2020, the division of The Taco Family of Cos. looks to grow through acquisitions...
UPDATING THE PATH A new collaboration between the Westerly Education Center, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, the R.I. Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and businesses across the state, with support from the Real Jobs Rhode Island initiative, is training the next generation of process technicians and chemical operators, positions needed in the brewing, medical research and consumer products industries, among others. The program requires a high school diploma or GED to begin, takes eight weeks of both classroom learning and hands-on training, 
and is free. Here, Clarke Richmond makes circuits to control fluids at the WEC. / PBN PHOTO/BRIAN MCDONALD


Paths to manufacturing jobs grow

Perhaps it was an extraordinary run as a major manufacturer in a number of industries, one that kept the state looking backward instead of...
STRETCH BREAK: Cranston manufacturer Taco Comfort Solutions hasn’t had any severe injuries in recent years, according to Occupational Health and Safety Administration statistics for severe injuries in Rhode Island workplaces. Circulator assembler Joe Branca, left, leads the residential division in performing stretches every two hours, which has reduced minor injuries and muscular-skeletal complaints.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

How safe is your workplace?

In March 2018, an employee of SMM New England Corp., doing business as Sims Metal Management in Providence, was erecting a sign in the...
CONFIDENCE WANING? Matt Fair, center, of Hayes & ­Sherry Real Estate Services, listens with colleagues during PBN’s first Economic Trends Summit in Providence on Feb. 15. Panelists said perennial concerns such as rising health care costs and uncertainty about changing federal policies are dampening optimism about an otherwise strong economy.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Optimism tempered by uncertainty

Rhode Island’s economy is doing well, but a handful of perennial bugaboos, along with actions at the federal level, have dampened the business community’s...
CHERYL MERCHANT has been appointed president of the Taco Family of Companies, North America. Merchant had served as president and CEO of Hope Global for 19 years. / PBN FILE PHOTO/STEPHANIE ALVAREZ EWENS

Taco appoints Cheryl Merchant president after 19 years with Hope Global

CRANSTON – The Taco Family of Companies, parent of Taco Comfort Solutions, has named Cheryl Merchant president of the Taco Family of Companies, North...

Williston Northampton School names dorm after Taco CEO

CRANSTON – John Hazen White Jr., owner, CEO and executive chairman of Taco Comfort Solutions in Cranston, visited western Massachusetts, where a dormitory at...
JOHN HAZEN WHITE Jr. has reassumed the role of CEO at Taco Inc. / COURTESY TACO

White Jr. reassumes CEO role at Taco

CRANSTON – Taco Inc. owner and Chairman John Hazen White Jr. has reassumed his role as CEO of Taco Comfort Solutions, effective immediately, the...
HELPING HAND: Amanda Hanley, right, transition councilor for Rhode Island Regional Adult Learning, assists Esther Alvarez, of Woonsocket, as part of an adult-education class for workers learning English skills. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL
SALERNO

Demand for ESL classes far exceeds openings

More than half of the 6,000 adults in Rhode Island taking part in adult-education classes are trying to improve their English-language skills. But the demand...

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