Innovative Refrigeration Systems offers employee education and skills improvement that is part and parcel of the company culture. The training at Innovative is approached from multiple angles including: hands-on formal training, online modules, and apprenticeships that result in real-world certifications. Innovative’s commitment to training using state-of-the-art facilities and software delivery systems is so widely recognized for its thoroughness and effectiveness that even competitors attend some of its courses.

Owner Mike McGinnis says, “Here at Innovative, we’re genuinely passionate about investing in our employees and helping them become the best at what they do. We’re committed to making sure our employees have the education and experience needed to excel. Their success leads directly to the success of the company and the success of our customers in using our services.”


Safety and quality efforts are amplified by Innovative’s cloud-based software program known as SafetyAmp. This software compiles safety and compliance records, automates repetitive workflows and monitors quality programs in real-time. It’s easy to record and investigate workplace events to prevent incidents and provide training on safety issues. It ties together safety, quality control and training.

“SafetyAmp has a range of configurable apps to capture data as well as assign, prioritize and manage corrective and preventative action against any issue.” – Vice President John Stoklosa

Ammonia / CO2 Cascade Condenser
and Evaporative Condenser on Hot Dip
Galvanized Steel platform – Seattle, WA.

Creating New Stars

All Innovative employees undergo training as part of the initial hiring and induction process. They are also enrolled in the company’s online Skills Training Advancement and Review (STAR) program. It helps shape careers by providing employees with a clear path to earn wage increases and promotions.

Mike McGinnis adds, “We also cross-train everyone so we can easily fill in if we have a gap in a particular area. This not only makes better use of our resources, it makes the work more interesting and challenging for our employees. Career paths are also flexible, so a laborer could learn new skills and work up to be a welder or electrician recognized as a journeyman in VA.”


Innovative offers apprenticeship programs that are recognized at both the state and federal level for employees in a variety of trades.

For example, a three-year course comprised of 6,000 field hours and 432 classroom hours to earn a service technician’s journeyman’s card. For employees committing to a two-year work contract, these types of programs are completely free of charge.

Industrial Refrigeration Technical College

Innovative runsIRTC (Industrial Refrigeration Technical College)a state-of-the art classroom, hands-on and online facility for current and aspiring refrigeration technicians in ammonia and CO2 training. IRTC staff are certified Hazmat technicians andRETA (Refrigeration Engineers and Technicians Association)Authorized Instructors.

Training at IRTC is also available for employees of competitors in the industry.

Mike McGinnis explains, “Of course, our own employees get first preference, but if there is space available, we’re happy to provide the training to non-Innovative personnel.

Innovative is always looking to add motivated and talented members to its team. Click this link to see open roles.

Click here to check out the full Industry Today article.