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How to Make Employee Training a Winning Investment

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This story appears in the November 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Javier Muchado joined Gentle Giant Moving Company in 2004, he thought he would be there for a few months and then move on. But Larry O'Toole and John "J.P." Pacocha, the Somerville, Mass.-based company's owners, had other ideas. They observed Muchado on a few jobs and recognized that he was physically strong and smart--a winning combo for a business that requires equal measures of muscle, troubleshooting ability and people skills.

Moving up: Javier Muchado (right, with Patrick potter) says Gentle Giant's training gave him the confidence to lead.
Moving up: Javier Muchado (right, with Patrick potter) says Gentle Giant's training gave him the confidence to lead.

Muchado--who sailed through the company's two-day training period, which focuses on basic moving skills--easily could have gotten stuck in a basic role. With his quiet demeanor and shy nature, he was often the "silent helper" on jobs and was reluctant to take a bigger role in the company. "I wanted to do small jobs, not big jobs. I was always afraid of driving [the bigger] trucks," he says.

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