top of page
  • sara4307


Updated: Sep 1, 2020

In October of 2019, during the RETA Conference in Las Vegas, the RETA-Training Institute (RETA‐TI) was announced during the opening business session. This new 501(c)(3) was created by the Board of RETA to address the critical issues of workforce development and education that surround the industrial refrigeration industry.

Drawing from existing resources and concepts, the President of the RETA-Training Institute Board of Directors is current RETA National Board of Directors Executive Vice President Eric Teale, of Danfoss. Jim Barron is acting as Executive Director. As the small Board came together, it was important to recognize and draw from specific areas thus there is a cross section of volunteers. Keith Harper of Tyson Foods, Werner Paulus of RD & S and an USMC Veteran, and Melissa Cassell of General Refrigeration Company compose the remainder of the Board. Together, the group has met to create and support the initial structure, programs, goals, mission and vision. A great deal has been accomplished in a short time, and there is so much more to be done going forward.

The RETA‐Training Institute currently has three primary programs aimed at focusing on veterans, transitioning service members, college students, high school students, women, and others to safely engage, train, and contribute to the industrial refrigeration industry. RETA‐TI will create educational opportunities to certify program participants and assist with placement into the industry. RETA‐TI will ensure that our program participants develop the skills and sound knowledge of industrial refrigeration and the core competencies essential for success and leadership in the growing workforce. RETA‐TI program participants will also generate practical and theoretical knowledge to better understand the growing and changing world of industrial refrigeration.

RETA-TI’s Vision:

To be the recognized source for recruiting, by facilitating training, credentialing, and promoting workforce development diversity for the industrial refrigeration industry.

With its Mission:

To promote and expand the industrial refrigeration workforce through professional development and education of individuals interested in beginning a career in the industrial refrigeration industry.

RETA-TI is beginning with three programs, REDWHITEandCOOL, Women in Natural Refrigeration (WiNR) and Youth and Young Adults (YAYA). RETA-TI hopes to expand programmatically, as things gain traction, results and funding.

REDWHITEandCOOL, is a nationally recognized Career Skills Program (CSP) approved by the Department of Defense and the United States Skill Bridge Program. The program is a 4‐week initiative that will recruit, train, and hire transitioning military personnel on military installations around the continental United States and overseas. At the end of the training, cohort participants will be administered the ANSI Certified CARO exam. (ANSI is the American National Standards Institute and certifies the CARO – Certified Ammonia Refrigeration Operator exam to be the accepted industry standard.)

RETA-TI is proud to announce that the first two FOUNDING sponsors of the REDWHITEandCOOL program are SMITHFIELD FOODS and TYSON FOODS. Smithfield Foods has committed to sponsoring the first cohort of this program and has been instrumental in helping to shape the program. They feel that partnering with RETA-TI is a natural fit to bring veterans into skilled-trade jobs within their company and within our industry.

REDWHITEandCOOL, was ready to launch on March 23rd at Joint Base Langley-Ft. Eustis in Virginia with 12 participants. However, it has been postponed for now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

RETA‐Training Institute will also work with and be a resource for many different organizations dedicated to finding jobs in this industry for transitioning military, veterans, spouses and family members. Examples of these organizations include Hiring our Heroes‐ US Chamber of Commerce, MOAA (Military Officers Association), AUSA (the Association of the United States Army), and Pathfinders (a program within the USO.)

Women in Natural Refrigeration (WiNR) is a program dedicated to improving the careers of women in a historically underrepresented workforce sector in natural refrigeration, engineering, and skilled trades. This program will encourage and highlight individuals to succeed through networking, mentoring, and education.

WiNR has held two organized events during the last RETA Conferences with great success. These events were an opportunity to network, share experiences, and to give each other support and encouragement as these WiNR’s navigate an industry to which they are an integral part. (Picture of last year’s event) It is also a time to recognize and applaud leadership and newcomers.

This coming October at the RETA Conference in Orlando, there will be a WiNR Reception on Monday evening October 26. RETA-TI is thrilled to host this event and will have a very special guest in Comedian Robin Phoenix. Robin is a recently retired Army Colonel, who helped navigate the Department of Defense bureaucracy in the establishment of the REDWHITEandCOOL program, and has turned her passion of comedy into a way of supporting veterans in healing “through laughter.” What a fitting opportunity to welcome this veteran and share similar challenges in a lighthearted and encouraging way! RETA-TI is looking for sponsors for this event, and thanks to the first two sponsors, RMP Corporation and PSM RMP. THANK YOU!

This reception is open to everyone, however there is an additional charge of $15 to attend. For more information on how to sponsor this event or to register to attend, please contact

The Youth and Young Adults (YaYA) program is focused on promoting and advocating for the industrial refrigeration operator and technician professions through collaborative alliances with public- private partnerships between school systems/ trade schools and the industry. The premise is to highlight and encourage positive and promising careers in the industrial refrigeration industry.

How can you get involved?

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational foundation, the RETA-TI programs are made possible through philanthropic financial support. The reason this Institute is different is that its only mission is to address the critical need for skilled workers within the natural refrigeration industry.

For more information on how you and your company can support and benefit from these initiatives, please contact

55 views0 comments
bottom of page