Why did you pursue a career in construction?
Growing up, my father and my uncle both worked in construction and in trades. My father encouraged me to go to university, so I obtained my degree in Civil Engineering. I’ve always been a hands-on worker and enjoy working outdoors. I never liked the idea of a 9-5 role or working in an office, so when I started in construction, I really felt like I belonged.
Can you share an overview of what your job entails?
As a Project Superintendent, I start my day early to catch up on emails before the rest of my crew arrives on site. I have a meeting with everyone to go over the gameplan for the day and delegate tasks. For the rest of the day, I deal with any issues that arise and work towards solutions, ensuring the job is progressing as planned. I have several employees reporting to me, so I also sit down with each of them to ensure they are on track and doing well.
What do you like most about working in construction?
The best part about working in construction is that every day and every project is different. At the end of the day, we are putting in roadways and bridges and building infrastructure, however, each job has different requirements and its own set of challenges to overcome. There is always opportunity to build on your experience, to learn something new, and to look forward to. To this day I’m still learning, and it’s never boring.
Do you believe construction is a viable career path for young, new and/or diverse Canadians?
The construction industry has a lot of plans for Canada in the coming years and even now there is immense opportunity for young and new Canadians to develop their careers. As a young man from the Middle East, I entered the construction industry as a minority. This never impacted my experience with Dufferin Construction. If you have a good work ethic and are willing to learn, no one will ever hold you back. Over the years, our teams have become more diverse, and we make sure that everyone has equal opportunity.
What advise would you give someone thinking about a career in construction?
In my role I interview a lot of co-op students and new hire candidates, and I always let them know what to expect. Construction is not a 9-5 role, it’s very demanding. However, as demanding as it is, it’s equally rewarding. You’ll need to work hard, but in doing so you’ll participate in building exciting projects from design to finish. When you see the final product, you’ll be proud to have been a part of it.
What does Dufferin Construction have to offer in terms of career growth?
Dufferin Construction invests in its employees by ensuring we have the right training and tools to do our jobs safely and well. Over and above the courses and in-house trainings Dufferin offers, it’s truly the people that make it a great company to work for. Having been here for 15 years, I stay because the people here are like family, and because of that, you also develop a loyalty to the company that brought you together.
The biggest benefit to my career at Dufferin was having excellent mentors. There are so many knowledgeable and experienced people here that are willing to spend time teaching you. A company needs good, approachable teachers to share their knowledge. At Dufferin, we implement those practices in the way we lead to develop future leaders and support younger employees in moving up within the company.
How is Dufferin set apart from other Construction companies in terms of expertise and innovation?
At Dufferin, we don’t shy away from specialty or complicated projects. We’re always front of the pack when it comes to the latest innovations and acquiring the projects that require expertise in practice. We’re always up for a challenge, we have tons of amazing talent, and we offer a wide range of capabilities to provide solutions to our customers.
As a Construction Coordinator, I remember working on my first Rapid Bridge Replacement on Highway 403/Aberdeen Ave in Hamilton. Seeing bridges built on the side of the highway and moved into position on rollers blew my mind. I continue to learn something new every day and am offered opportunities to build on my experience. Every project is different and brings a new set of challenges to overcome. Experience is gained at a fast pace here, while working with people who have huge amounts of knowledge to share.