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Folan Waterproofing & Construction Co.: No. 1 on the list of the top small employers in Massachusetts for 2021

The leaders of this third-generation family business in South Easton earn workers’ loyalty by treating them with respect and supporting their growth.

beth walrond/for The Boston Globe

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This third-generation restoration and waterproofing company in South Easton is dedicated to treating every employee with respect and support. It’s an attitude that has earned Folan tremendous loyalty from its employees, some of whom were already working there when the current owners were children.

In a word: Family

View from the top: “You empower the employees, give them the skills and the training they need, treat them like humans, and it’s a better work relationship for everybody,” says Patrick J. Folan, executive manager and grandson of the company’s founders.

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Through the generations: Jack O’Hanlon needed a job when he moved from Galway to Massachusetts in the 1980s. He heard Noreen Folan, who had grown up near him in Ireland, had started a masonry company with her husband, so O’Hanlon looked her up. He got a job, and never looked back, drawn in by the founders’ appreciative treatment of its workers. “That’s kind of the way we were brought up and it came down through the Folan generations as well,” says O’Hanlon, now a foreman. “I would never ask to go anywhere else.”

Lifelong learning: When John Foley started at Folan as a truck driver 21 years ago, he had his commercial driver’s license. Soon his boss asked if he was interested in getting his crane operator’s certification. Then came qualifications for excavation and a construction supervisor’s license, all arranged and paid for by his employer. “When someone wants to take care of you like that,” Foley says, “you take care of them in return.”

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