Andrew Pariser / RESCON
Not all of us are lucky enough to know the career path we’re destined for as a teenager. Thomas McHardy of home builder Tribute Communities is an exception.
The 21-year-old Oshawa man was recently promoted to assistant site supervisor at Oshawa’s Dantonbury UC Towns site. The path to get to that position was a very linear one: finding his passion for construction as a teenager, taking labour jobs, then enrolling at George Brown College’s construction engineering program, and continuing his education in RESCON’s construction management program.
“I’ve always had a love for construction,” McHardy said. “I’ve always loved building things and enjoy seeing things being built well. When we’re strapping a wall or looking for drywall overlap, I enjoy better building practices.”
As part of the RESCON program’s 2017 class, McHardy was recognized early on as an ambitious and intelligent student with a lot of potential.
“I liked him from the first day he approached me at last year’s George Brown luncheon – he was very easy to talk to, and he’s eager to learn on the job,” said Frank MacPhee, Tribute VP of contracts, a member of RESCON’s board of directors. “He’s a really good kid with a tremendous upside. Thomas has been doing great work for us.”
Tribute Communities' Frank Salemi, left, and Thomas McHardy.
Frank Salemi, Tribute’s senior site supervisor at the Oshawa site, says he has been impressed with McHardy’s knowledge and enthusiasm and recognized that he was overqualified for his initial work as a clerk.
“When I see a young guy doing well with the rough part of construction, I didn’t think it would be problem to deal with trade sequencing, time sheets, material management, new orders or paperwork, which is a real testament to the George Brown College program.
“He’s willing to learn all aspects of construction, solve problems, find resolutions with trades on site – that all came fairly quickly for Thomas,” Salemi said. “We’re working on a community of four-storey mid-rise condos – I didn’t have to explain the process and techniques of Part 3 construction to him repeatedly.
“But the most important skill is attitude, and he’s got that. If you don’t have the right attitude, it’s difficult to deal with your colleagues on and off site. There’s some connection between the George Brown class and what happens on site. The program is doing the right thing.”
Starting as a clerk, McHardy was promoted to assistant site supervisor about a month ago, less than a year into his formal employment with the company.
“I’ve been really enjoying it. It has been better than I thought it would be. I’m working with great people here and learning more and more. They keep pushing me to be better at the job. They’ve shown me there’s opportunity to move forward in the company.”
'I KNEW THE PATH I WANTED TO GO DOWN'
After finishing high school at the age of 17 with work in construction, landscaping and cabinet-making under his belt, he entered the three-year construction engineering program, then the 28-week RESCON program.
“Since I started with the program, I knew the path I wanted to go down. It made me realize I would be in a construction management position.”
As for his next step in his career, “I’m kinda hoping to move the next position up – finishing super. In the end, I’d like to be in a senior super position. I see it as a good possibility. The people at Tribute have been good to work with and it’s a good working atmosphere.”
As the staff lead for the RESCON / GBC program, I look forward to this annual blog which highlights one of the many successes this partnership produces. Year after year, I am amazed at the quality of the graduates as well as the outstanding opportunities RESCON members provide to graduates. It is great to recognize Tribute as a longtime supporter and wish Thomas and all of the 2017 graduates success as they build their careers in the residential sector.
Looking forward, we have already interviewed and made offers to the incoming class of 2018 and a meet and greet for builders has been organized for May 16th at the George Brown Waterfront Campus.
For more information on this event, please contact Amina Dibe, RESCON’s programs and policy analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com.
Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and chair of the RESCON health and safety committee. Reach him @RESCON_VP or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 905-760-7777.