ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Tantone Industries, Inc., has been known to clean more than 77,000 pounds of laundry in one year. That’s a lot of sorting, washing, drying and folding. Through it all, the Branson, Missouri-based sheltered workshop is supporting local businesses, while giving meaningful employment to area adults with disabilities. And, thanks to funds from a United States Department of Agriculture grant, the not-for-profit has been able to maintain its esteemed laundry services with the help of durable Maytag® Commercial Laundry single and multi-load washers and dryers.
Sarah Baty, general manager for Tantone Industries, has been with the organization for 13 years. While she says Tantone Industries offers a variety of services including recycling, shredding, mail courier deliveries, a thrift store and more, laundry duty is considered the coveted job among employees.
“All the employees who are trained to do laundry want to be stationed in the laundry room. In the winter, which is this tourist town’s off-season, they have to take turns working the laundry shift because there is less work to go around,” she said.
Baty says it’s a coveted job in part because the Maytag® Commercial Laundry equipment is easy to manage. She says the chemicals, supplied and installed by Ecolab, are fed directly into the machines, which feature preset buttons for towels, sheets, bedspreads, and food and beverage laundry. Employees can wash a load of laundry by simply pressing a button.
The equipment Tantone Industries makes good use of includes three Maytag® Commercial Laundry Soft-Mount Washers, one Maytag® Commercial Laundry Top-Load Single-Load Washer, and three Maytag® Commercial Laundry Energy Advantage™ Multi-Load Dryers. The single- and multi-load washers feature high-speed extraction, which removes more water from the laundry to cut drying time and helping extend linen life. The Energy Advantage™ Multi-Load Dryers’ tempered glass door and solid dryer drum help keep warm air in the drum, which forces more heated air through the load to reduce energy use. Assistance with equipment selection was provided by John Morris Equipment Co., the local Maytag® Commercial Laundry distributor.
Not to be undersold, of course, is the fact that laundry duty provides ample opportunity for employees to fraternize as they fold load after load. It’s this social outlet that perhaps employees like best about laundry service and their jobs as a whole.
“We provide employment for people who otherwise may not be able to find work. This organization enhances the lives of employees because it is more than a job. It’s also a social life. Our employees make friends here,” said Baty.
In regards to laundry, Tantone Industries offers pick-up and delivery service. At 50 cents per pound, the service is fast, convenient and saves Branson-area businesses precious labor hours. All laundry is folded and bagged.
All told, Baty believes Tantone Industries is as good for employees as it is for area businesses. The organization has been at work for more than 30 years and is looking forward to serving the community for many more.