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TRAINING & EDUCATION: Introducing 3 star graduates from George Brown/RESCON collaboration
March 1st, 2019 12:11 pm     A+ | a-

Andrew Pariser and Amina Dibe / RESCON
We’re gearing up for the next crop of students to enter George Brown College’s residential construction management certificate program, which we have proudly supported since 2013. Our members can expect to hear from us in the coming weeks and months to see who can take on students later this year.

But before then, we’d like to highlight some of the stars of the program who graduated recently.

In this 28-week program at the Angelo DelZotto School of Construction Management, students spend the first semester in class and the second on site in a paid field placement with various RESCON builder members across the GTA. Most participants are graduates of the three-year Construction Engineering Technology or Civil Engineering Technology diploma programs.

More than 60 students have completed the program; the program has seen a 90% job-placement rate after graduation.

All students receive scholarships from an endowment set up by RESCON and GBC.. Here’s why: labour supply is an issue for careers in construction management, including those focused on procurement, quality control, and the introduction of new technologies and building methods. There are 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 are three graduates’ thoughts on the program and placements, as well as some sentiments on each of them from Prof. Bill Hawryschuk, who teaches the Residential Construction Project Management and High-Rise Residential Construction courses.

Prof. Bill offers this about the graduating class of 2018-2019: “It’s actually very nice when I see (the students) working or at graduation or something else. You can really see the boost in their confidence and a sense of purpose when they go to work – that’s very important for overall happiness in general.”

The class of 2018-2019 stand with Prof. Bill Hawryschuk (at right), including Tamara Baptiste (second from left), Andrew Kha (sixth from left) and Vertille Lewis (eighth from left).


NAME: Andrew Kha, Toronto, 21 (site clerk)

PROJECT: The Logan (six-storey mid-rise), Toronto (Daniels Corp.)

COMMENTS: “Right now, I’m enjoying my time. I was thrown in towards the middle part of the construction phase, and now we’re putting in all of the drywall, installing kitchens and tiling in the finishing phase.

“While I’m a site clerk, I’m also taking the responsibilities of an assistant site superintendent. It’s a lot to take on at first. It might come to you as too much. But as time goes on, if you stick with the flow of things, you eventually enjoy it and get used to it, and even crave getting more work.

“As a site superintendent, you have to have a very general knowledge of what it takes to build a building from scratch. You start excavating, you start soil testing, you start laying the foundation of the building, and then you continue to build, you start to understand the basics of the whole building from the skeleton to when it’s fully enclosed and soon after when people start to occupy the building.

“Communication is absolutely important and so is transparency.

“The RESCON program, in my opinion, for what it is, the three months you’re in class, you’re given a lot.

“I think all of the courses are all helpful. But the two that really stick out to me are residential construction management and high-rise construction. Those two are the two (elements of) the program that really allowed a student in the program to understand this is how you do things on the residential side, and this is the other side of construction – condos, not just housing below six storeys. Those were the two that I really liked.

“It’s a big industry with senior people retiring. You have to replenish the workers that you have. I highly recommend the RESCON program at GBC. It’s a great program for anyone to get some real hands-on experience.”

PROF. BILL’S THOUGHTS: “Andrew’s able to stay calm and not get emotional. He’s very approachable.”

NAME: Tamara Baptiste, 38, Richmond Hill (project coordinator)

PROJECT: The Wyatt condo (Daniels Corp.)

COMMENTS: “So far, it’s been very good. The biggest challenge for me was during the internship. It was hard but very beneficial to learn more about the different trades, including HVAC, drywall and mechanical. I have been working very closely with the finishing super as his assistant. My goal is to be a finishing super in the very near future.

“I would like to add that being a female on the job, it’s not as bad as some people may think … nothing inappropriate or anything to make you uncomfortable is discussed. … They treat everyone the same which is pretty cool.

“With the RESCON program, coming from the (George Brown) engineering technology program, what the RESCON program did was talk about more site-based issues … (and provide) a hands-on type of experience.”

PROF. BILL’S THOUGHTS: “The best words for Tamara would be competent, reliable and dependable. After teaching students for so long, you can tell which ones have lightbulbs going off. She was one of them, taking it all in. An important part of learning is listening and taking it all into consideration. The way she was responding when I was talking, she was responding like the lectures and lab presentations were all useful to her.”

NAME: Vertille Lewis, 42, Whitby (site coordinator)

PROJECT: Ten York, Toronto (Tridel Corp.)

COMMENTS: “(The job) is challenging because I’m still learning. I am now applying more of my knowledge to learn and grow. I have been given numerous on-site responsibilities since joining and I am really enjoying the opportunities.

“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.”

PROF. BILL’S THOUGHTS: “Vertille is magnetic. People like him. He’s got natural leadership qualities. He’s the kind of person you want to work for, because he’s not condescending. I think he’s one of these people that if he meets the right people at the right time, he could go very far.”
Congratulations to all of the graduates, and thank you for choosing our industry. For more information, visit
Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and chair of the RESCON health and safety committee. Email him at Amina Dibe is a programs and policy analyst at RESCON. Email her at
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