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TLC Company Inc. - An Education-Friendly Workplace

“We’re investing in them because they’re investing in themselves.”
Lisa Knapp
Training Manager

TLC has been a fixture in north-central New Mexico since 1987, providing a variety of residential and commercial plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical services, as well as heavy site construction through its Spear D Construction company. Boasting 600 employees, TLC President and CEO Dale Armstrong has long valued supporting the growth and development of all levels of employees by providing flexible training pathways toward licensure and career growth. Dale jokes that he’s not worried about training staff and having them leave; rather, he’s worried about failing to train them and having them stay. In 2022 alone, TLC helped support the attainment of 100 new journeyman licenses!

“We’re investing in them because they’re investing in themselves.”

Lisa Knapp, Training Manager, shared about TLC employees who commit to coming to early morning classes, such as a 6 AM Soldering and Brazing class.

TLC Company Inc.

What makes TLC an Education-Friendly Workplace?

TLC invests time, resources, and staff into its training and education programs. They offer an internal training program and facility that supports the growth and development for all levels and types of employees. Their catalogue of courses includes personal & professional development, leadership, safety, test prep for licensing and certifications, continuing education, and skilled training pathways. 

Such a robust program is only made possible through commitment from the entire organization – employees, managers, and executives. In fact, TLC has a dedicated training department that includes two full-time technical trainers. Leadership staff also takes time to teach courses throughout the year. A focus is placed on building relationships, providing coaching, advertising pathways, and celebrating milestones. When particular courses or skills can’t be taught internally, TLC partners with Associated Builders & Contractors of NM, Associated General Contractors of NM, local colleges, and others to supplement training needs. 

Not only does TLC support the training and educational advancement of its own employees, the company also invests volunteer time to engage local youth in career and technical skill development. Throughout the year, TLC supports learning about the trades in schools and community through a variety of activities such as teaching and providing demonstrations at schools in Los Lunas, participating in ACE Leadership High School’s Heavy Equipment Rodeo, and hosting Boy Scouts to help them earn their plumbing badge.

What challenges does TLC face in offering training and educational benefits?

Finding the space and the time to hold training courses can be difficult. Employees who go out in the field need to get an early start, so it requires dedication for them to commit to attending pre-work classes. There’s also a constant need to adapt to new technology, which highlights the importance of continuing to upskill employees. Creating and sustaining a dedicated training department is also a financial consideration, but TLC recognizes the tremendous return on investment it receives by having well-trained and supported employees. Ultimately, the motivation to sustain an education-friendly workplace comes from the company’s statement of purpose – improving the quality of life for employees and the community.

Visit TLC and Spear D Construction to learn more:



TLC offers heavy equipment operating training, CDL theory, and behind-the-wheel training.


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