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👷‍♀️ Talent Thursdays: Giving back

A $25M gift, Chandos' new CEO, Ukrainians find Calgary success

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Good morning! 🥂 We are wishing a happy retirement to Boston Dynamics’ hydraulic Atlas robot. This week, the company unveiled its successor—a fully electric Atlas robot designed for real-world applications. The new Atlas will be stronger, with a broader range of motion than any previous generations


The latest data from the BC Construction Association shows labour shortages mean higher wages and steep competition for qualified workers. 77% of employers report increasing wages in the past year. The average annual wage rose 21% over five years to $74,853. Survey respondents report that the average entry level wage sits at $22.11/hour, which is 25% above minimum wage, while the average wage of tradespeople with 10 or more years’ experience sits at $42.71/hour.


Kevin Read is now senior director of offsite solutions for Bird Construction. Prior to entering the modular space in 2012, Read spent years working in product design, quality assurance, process automation, corporate strategy, and business development in the construction and energy industries.

Luke Forrest is the new vice president of sales for Bridgit. Forrest previously spent five years in various roles at Autodesk. 

Sina Khamenehi is starting a new role at ETRO Construction as a project manager. He is well versed in civil engineering, project/construction management, and building information modeling. He joins ETRO after similar roles at Axiom Builders, Chandos Construction and Urban One Builders. 

Sean Penn has been named Chandos Construction’s new CEO. Officials stated that Penn’s career at Chandos spans over 20 years, from his years working as a carpenter to his tenure as chief operating officer (COO). They noted that he has showcased leadership and an “unwavering commitment” to Chandos' core values of inclusion, collaboration, innovation, and courage.  


💰 Saskatchewan Polytechnic has received a gift of $25 million. The funds will go towards the school’s new Saskatoon campus. The gift comes from Joe Remai, a philanthropist and real-estate developer. After graduating with an engineering degree, he started Remai Construction with his brother. His company has built thousands of rental and condominium units, hotels, and commercial properties.

🏗️ Driven by ambition and a quest for stability, Ihor Marchenko, along with his friends Artem Tkachenko and Andriy Lysak, embarked on a journey from Ukraine to Canada six years ago. Settling in Calgary, they founded ThreeStones Alliance, a construction company that has rapidly grown to nearly 60 employees. With a focus on quality and strategic partnerships, they've secured major contracts with developers like Truman Homes and Next Door Homes, paving the way for expansion across Western Canada.

⚒️ A new First Nations pre-employment program in Regina is using construction work as an entry point to get students ready for the workforce. The Touchwood Agency Tribal Council set up a shop where students are currently constructing homes from the ground up. The homes will later be installed on the surrounding First Nations. For the coordinators, the experience is about building both individual and group success.

👷‍♀️ Okanagan College is closing its Women in Trades classes after 16 years due to provincial funding cuts. Previously, women had a 12-week chance to explore various trades for free, allowing them to test the waters before committing. School officials expressed gratitude for the program's impact despite funding challenges. The government cited the expiration of contracts and a new procurement process by SkilledTradesBC for equitable funding distribution.


Resources for professional development


Senior Estimator - Montreal, Que. - PCL Construction

Site Supervisor (Low Rise) - Toronto, Ont. - Madison Group

Lawyer, Construction Contracts - Calgary, Alta. - City of Calgary

Sr. Engineer, Dam Safety (Site C) - Fort St. John, B.C. - BC Hydro

Construction Estimator - Toronto, Ont. - Koler Builders

Senior Estimator - Vancouver, B.C. - Govan Brown 

Communications & Engagement Manager - Abbotsford, B.C. - SitePartners

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