Giving Back

Student got experience on condo construction (Toronto Star)

There were not many builders who could accommodate student interns on their site because of the widespread labour disruptions.

But Verdiroc Development Corp., which is working on The Orion, a condominium office conversion project on Yonge at Summerhill Ave., was able to keep Sefin Hughes, 17, busy for six weeks.

“She got an opportunity to see the condo construction at all the stages,” said Sheryl Erenberg, vice-president, marketing for Verdiroc.

“I think it was a valuable experience.”

Hughes, who wants to be an architectural technologist, graduated from the Construction Technology for Women program, a youth internship project funded by Human Resources Development Canada through its Women in Trades and Technology national network.

The high school pilot project at SATEC – the Scarborough Academy for Technological, Environmental and Computer Education – was the only one of its kind in Greater Toronto.

Erenberg said she heard about the program through the Toronto’s home builders’ association.

“We’re always complaining about the shortage of trades,” says Erenberg.

“We thought it was important to participate, especially in a program for women.”

Erenberg said the 40-unit project, The Orion, should be ready for occupancy in November.

The company is also building a 52-suite condominium at Bayview and Eglinton Aves., and has plans for other developments in the Toronto region.

Coordinator of the training project, Debra Kosemetzky, managed to place only eight of the 22 students, who were available internships this past summer.

The labor disputes complicated matters, but many in the construction industry still don’t acknowledge that women are capable and highly skilled to work in the field.

“It’s really an equity issue,” she said.

“Although there are more and more trained women in the construction field, there’s still not enough of them to change people’s attitudes on sites.”

There were not many builders who could accommodate student interns on their construction sites because of the widespread labour disruptions. But Verdiroc Development Corporation when working on The Orion, a condominium office conversation project on Yonge at Summerhill Avenue, was able to keep Sefin Hughes, 17, busy for six weeks.

She’s got an opportunity to see the condo construction at all the stages,” said Sheryl Erenberg, vice-president of marketing. Hughes, who wants to be an architectural technologist, graduated from the Construction Technology for Women program, a youth internship project funded by Human Resources Development Canada through its Women in Trades and Technology national network. The high school pilot project at SATEC ‚ the Scarborough Academy for Technological, Environmental and Computer Education ‚ was the only one of its kind in Greater Toronto.
The labour disputes complicated matters, but many in the construction industry still donít acknowledge that women are capable and highly skilled to work in the field ìItís really an equity issue. Although there are more and more trained women in the construction field, there’s still not enough of them to change peopleís attitudes on sites.”