Tacony Manufacturing of St. James, Missouri, has been selected as winner in the 15th annual Rural Missouri Readers’ Choice Awards in the category of Best Made in Missouri Product. The manufacturing plant, which employs approximately 120 people in a town of fewer than 4,200 people, produces Simplicity, Riccar and Maytag vacuum cleaners for worldwide distribution.
Jefferson City-based Rural Missouri magazine holds the Readers’ Choice Awards each year to honor the best restaurants, destinations and activities throughout the Show-Me State. The 2016 awards included 17 eclectic categories ranging from Best Cave to Best Pie and pretty much everything in between. Winners were nominated and voted upon via reader ballot and are slated to be announced in the April issue of Rural Missouri, which is distributed to more than 550,000 homes.
Tacony Manufacturing employee Patty Lawrence nominated her employer for the award, and was randomly selected from among thousands of participating readers as the winner of a $500 Rural Missouri goodie basket.
This isn’t Tacony Manufacturing’s first statewide recognition for quality. In October 2015, the company was selected by the Missouri Association of Manufacturers as a recipient of Made in Missouri Leadership Awards in two categories: Community Partner and After Market Services. The Made in Missouri Leadership Awards recognize Missouri businesses that demonstrate long-term commitment to their communities.
Tacony Manufacturing is a division of St. Louis-based Tacony Corporation, a privately held manufacturer and distributor of sewing machines, home floor care and commercial floor care products, and ceiling fans.
Pictured: Patty Lawrence of Tacony Manufacturing accepts her Readers’ Choice Awards gift basket from Rural Missouri Editor Jim McCarthy.
Tacony Manufacturing has been selected by the Missouri Association of Manufacturers as a recipient of Made in Missouri Leadership Awards in two categories: Community Partner and After Market Services. The Made in Missouri Leadership Awards recognize Missouri businesses that demonstrate long-term commitment to their communities.
Tacony Manufacturing is a division of St. Louis-based Tacony Corporation, a privately held manufacturer and distributor of sewing machines, home floor care and commercial floor care products, and ceiling fans. The company has 330-plus employees in the St. Louis area and more than 640 associates in 13 offices worldwide. Approximately 120 of those employees work at Tacony Manufacturing in St. James, Mo., where Simplicity, Riccar and Maytag vacuum cleaner brands are manufactured.
The Regional Economic Commission in Rolla nominated Tacony Manufacturing to the Missouri Association of Manufacturers (MAM), in part, for the company’s corporate leadership in founding Tech 44, a statewide program to build collaboration and growth opportunities for companies along the I-44 corridor. St. James Mayor Jim White and City Administrator Harold Selby also submitted award recommendations citing the company’s dedication to job creation by moving its vacuum manufacturing to St. James from its Taiwan facility in 1997. Since then, the city of St. James has secured infrastructure grants to make a number of improvements to infrastructure that attracted other businesses to the city.
The Made in Missouri Leadership Awards were presented Oct. 2, 2015, at an awards celebration at the Doubletree Hilton in Chesterfield. Tacony Corporation Chief Executive Officer Ken Tacony accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Each Missouri Association of Manufacturers award required nominees to meet specific requirements for consideration. The Community Partner Award and After Market Services Award criteria are describe below, along with the business and philanthropic practices enacted by Tacony Manufacturing that resulted in these recognitions:
Community Partner Award
Award Criteria – The Community Partner Award recognizes manufacturers that demonstrate community involvement on the local, regional or state level. Honorees must show a long-term commitment to the community through civic improvement projects, support of community projects, impact on economic development, or a corporate culture that encourages these efforts.
Tacony Manufacturing Contributions – In addition to bringing jobs to St. James, Mo., and founding Tech 44 to encourage further growth throughout the state, Tacony Manufacturing has contributed to a number of key empowerment programs and community development grants to enhance vital regional infrastructure. The company partnered with Missouri S&T University in Rolla to work with tomorrow’s engineers by giving them a place to apply skills learned at the university. The company has donated to every church within a 50-mile radius of the St. James as well as soldiers serving abroad; schools, universities, rural fire departments, 4-H groups and other charitable causes.
The company also opened the quirky Vacuum Cleaner Museum at its manufacturing facility in 2009 to attract visitors from around the world to the area, further encouraging local commerce and tourism and show what American manufacturing can accomplish.
After Market Services Award
Award Criteria – The Missouri Association of Manufacturers’ After Market Services Award is focused on recognizing companies that strive to achieve excellent products and service, engage customers, encourage product improvement, solve customer problems, and demonstrate commitment to a customer focus.
Tacony Manufacturing Contributions – Tacony Manufacturing makes and distributes floor care products, including vacuum cleaners, floor scrubbers, carpet extractors and other products for home and commercial floor care. In qualifying for the After Market Services Award, the company demonstrated a longstanding commitment to service after the sale.
Tacony provides consumers with a manned, toll-free number for assistance, as well as email and internet assistance. Live technicians work right in the factory where the products are built and have prior experience in manufacturing those specific Tacony products; this gives each technician a deep knowledge of each product and process in order to pinpoint a resolution to each unique service inquiry. The company uses this personal interaction with consumers to troubleshoot improvement to its products, as well as to continue innovation of new products in floor care.
Tacony Manufacturing brands – Simplicity, Riccar and Maytag being the most recognizable – are sold by independent vacuum retailers, who receive regular and ongoing support from the company in the form of product and service training and other support.
Tacony Corporation, a manufacturing and distribution company headquartered in Fenton, was also named to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplaces of 2015 in June. The Post-Dispatch cited Tacony’s “family culture” in placing the company at No. 25 in the midsize employer category.
The family atmosphere is the top benefit cited by Tacony employees polled in the annual Top Workplaces survey.
Tacony Corporation has been named to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplaces of 2015. The list, published June 28, singles out the company’s “family culture” as the benefit most cited by associates surveyed. Tacony Corporation was listed at No. 25 in the midsize employer category.
“I love our mission statement: Exceed customer needs, offer quality products and services, find better ways, and build relationships that are based on trust and fee like family,” said Benefits Administrator Tracey Peterson. “It embodies integrity and commitment, and makes me feel proud to be part of this family-owned business. Our executive team supports and values all associates regardless of position or department because they feel we all serve an important role in the success of the company.”
The company considers associates as shareholders and rewards them accordingly with better than average benefits. Among the distinctive benefits Tacony Corporation identified during the Top Workplaces survey process are the associate pension and profit-sharing plan. All associates who work more than 1,000 hours per year participate in the plan, which is funded 100 percent by the company and based in part on a percentage of the associate’s gross annual pay. In 2014, the company’s contribution toward employee retirement was 15 percent.
In constructing its list of Top Workplaces, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch partnered with the Pennsylvania-based survey firm WorkplaceDynamics, which surveyed employees at 164 participating companies, nonprofit groups and government agencies in St. Louis who were nominated by their employees. More than 44,000 employees at these companies responded, rating their workplaces on 22 employee satisfaction criterions in the survey.
Inclusion in the 2015 Top Worksplaces list required a response rate of at least 35 percent for large and midsize employers (30 percent for small employers) in combination with high survey scores. WorkplaceDynamics identified 100 St. Louis-area employers with scores that qualitied them to be named to the 2015 Top Workplaces.
“Every year, employees say they appreciate organizations with a clear purpose, confident leadership, strong values and ethics,” the article by Post-Dispatch writer Roland Klose states. “Many employers are nominated each year, and many choose to participate. It’s fair to say that those that do know they have a good story to tell.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has begun taking nominations for Top Workplaces 2016 at stltoday.com/nominate.