By Richard Lyall
Another year complete, and another great crop of graduates from George Brown College’s residential construction management certificate program have found their niche and started on their career paths.
I was privileged to spend some time with the class of 2018-19 at their graduation earlier this month, as well as their professors and faculty from George Brown’s Angelo DelZotto School of Construction Management.
A little background: In this 28-week program, student spend the first semester in class and the second on site in a paid field placement with various RESCON builder members across the GTA. Participants must have graduated from the three-year Construction and Civil Engineering Technology program.
Around 75 students have graduated in its six years, with more than 90 per cent of them being placed in a job after graduation.
RESCON sponsors partial tuition scholarships for this experiential learning program. Here’s why: we need people to work in the industry on the construction management side, not just the skilled trades, to work on procurement, quality control and defects prevention. I’m talking about a lot of jobs at the junior level for new hires: site supervisors, residential project managers, project coordinators, site coordinators, site clerks, estimators, supervisors and superintendents. Here’s three graduates who have all been placed following the completion of the program providing insight for Builder Bites on the program.
NAME: Tamara Baptiste, 38, Richmond Hill (project coordinator)
PROJECT: The Wyatt condo (The Daniels Corporation)
COMMENTS: “So far, it’s been very good. The biggest challenge for me was during the internship. It was hard. You expect to be able to shadow people and learn as much as you can – HVAC, drywall (and more). “I have been highly involved as a finishing super. I’m pretty much the assistant finishing super. His goal (the finishing super) is to groom me to be in that role.”
NAME: Vertille Lewis, 42, Whitby (site coordinator)
PROJECT: 10 York St., Toronto (Tridel)
COMMENTS: “I started as a site coordinator, ordering equipment, assisting in labour work. Within one month, my super saw I was driven and sent me to another site – concrete and rebar. Third month, I do part of the finishing of the property, insulation, to taping the floors … purchase orders, answering all the calls, returning appliances … It’s a bit overwhelming in a good way. “In terms of the RESCON program, it’s a smart way of getting in the door. Networking plays a very, very strong role in your career path. It’s up to you to take advantage of it.”
NAME: Ishan Naimi, Brampton, 29 (assistant supervisor)
PROJECT: 11 townhouses back-to-back and stacked, Brampton (The Daniels Corporation)
COMMENTS: “At the RESCON program, we learned about the pre-installation checklist. I’m incorporating what I learned to the project that I’m currently at. With that checklist, I’m making pre-stage checklists throughout the projects on the site and checking them as I go on. “The main thing you get out of this is the co-op. You have to adapt, to step up and be part of a team.”
Congratulations to all of the graduates, and thank you all for strengthening our industry. Click here for more information on this program.
Richard Lyall is president of RESCON.