Richard Lyall / RESCON
It was just two years ago that Clint Kissoon and I had a eureka moment at lunch.
As we broke bread, the George Brown College executive and I came up with a fantastic program at GBC involving RESCON, the voice of the GTA’s builders: three-year diploma Construction Engineering Technology graduates could become ready-made residential construction management professionals through a 28-week certificate program; RESCON would provide funding and do its part to fill a jobs gap on sites all over the GTA.
Two months after that lunch, the program was up and running.
Posing at GBC's Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies (CCET) are, from left: Bill Nichols, professor and program coordinator; Clint Kissoon, CCET chair; and Dorothy Rogowski, CCET site visit coordinator.
The program allows a maximum of 15 students per year, taking courses for 14 weeks starting in May, then 14 weeks of on-the-job experience through placements with our members.
Every year, we need builder employers to step up and take on the up-and-comers, and we’ve had great success in the first two years with the following builders placing students from this excellent GBC program: Arista, Daniels, Tridel, Empire, Brookfield, Great Gulf, Tucker HiRise, Sorbara, H&R, Menkes, Starlane and Remington.
They have trained students who have gone on to take junior positions such as residential project manager, project coordinator, site coordinator, superintendent or estimator.
We’re not only thrilled to be partners in the Residential Construction Management Certificate Program, we’re pleased with the results as 19 students have graduated from the program so far, and another 14 are poised to start in May.
Our partnership is doing its part to get youth into the industry.
The Residential Construction Management Certificate Program gives construction engineering technology graduates a leg up in entering the industry.
“These students with a three-year diploma would usually get jobs in the residential sector,” says Kissoon, chair of the GBC’s Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies (CCET). “But this program gave them more specialized training in residential construction management. Before, we were the choice of employers looking for residential construction managers, but our high-value partnership with RESCON consolidated it.”
A LEG UP
The courses involved are: quality control and defect prevention; home design and value engineering; purchasing and bid processes; residential construction project management; and high-rise residential construction. Students are given an even mix of low-rise and high-rise education, and then are placed in the sector they’re most comfortable in.
The tuition is $3,444 per year, taxes included. But through the interest of RESCON’s $500,000 endowment fund, students are provided with $1,000 scholarships to offset some of that cost.
“At George Brown, we keep current with industry practices. The knowledge and skills we give to our students is very much in alignment with hitting the ground running,” Kissoon says. “You get an applied education and we have a robust advisory committee, made up of major developers, contractors and associations, that gives us valuable knowledge.”
With 400 to 500 students graduating from the CCET from two-, three- and four-year programs every year, it’s easy to find George Brown alumni on any residential construction site around the GTA. Just ask around.
We’re doing our part. Now we’re hoping employers do theirs by stepping up and placing these future well-trained employees, who according to GBC professor and program coordinator Bill Nichols, “know everything Tarion requires when they come out of this program.”
You can expect to see and hear more about this program in the months to come.