With the second wind of the polar vortex on its way to the East Coast this week, Luis Torrado of Torrado Construction will be in Las Vegas attending a weeklong construction conference called “World of Concrete.”
Torrado is always looking for ways to improve his business. He completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program on Jan. 11.
The program, which took place at Community College of Philadelphia, offered free entrepreneurial courses over the course of four months. Torrado took classes such as accounting, human resources and risk assessment.
Goldman Sachs holds classes like these all over the country. In addition to Philadelphia, the program is also active in New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
Each class was not only academically stimulating and enriching, but also left Torrado struggling to catch his breath, he said.
“It was like business boot camp,” he said. “I left the first class exhausted with everything I’d learned.”
Torrado said his experience with the program helped him look at the bigger picture regarding his business.
“I focus more on working ‘on’ my business rather than ‘in’ my business,” he said.
His business is located on E. Thompson Street in Port Richmond and has been around for almost two decades. Torrado Construction has worked on projects throughout the city, including the Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys and Girls Club. Currently, the company is helping to work on a construction project in Center City’s Dilworth Plaza, Torrado said.
The company tries to pull many of its resources for their projects from the Port Richmond community, he said.
Classes were taught by Community College of Philadelphia staff and featured a curriculum developed by Babson College in Massachusetts, according to a press release. In addition to classes, participants were also offered workshops and personal business advising from Goldman Sachs professionals.
Torrado commended the professors who taught in the program. All had a specialized knowledge of their field, which he said was one of the program’s strong points.
A wide variety of participants who worked in fields ranging from fitness and wellness to office supply and fast food took part in the program. Torrado said it was helpful to be able to learn from each other as well as from the program instructors.
“It was nice to be able to collaborate with new people, as well as some people I already knew,” he said.
The biggest takeaway from the program, he said, was learning how to grow his company in the future.
“The program definitely put thoughts and ideas in my mind about the business that I’d never considered before,” he said.
Goldman Sachs is hosting this program again in the coming months. The application deadline is for the next class is Feb. 10. Those interested can apply online by visiting ccp.edu/business-and-industry/goldman-sachs-10000-small-businesses-program.