MHCA acknowledges it is located on Treaty One land and the homeland of the Metis Nation

Reaching out to refugees pays off, says company owner

Dmytro Zaitsev

The construction season was looking grim for Wes Omichinski, owner of Bonneville Transport, a heavy construction firm in Reston, Manitoba. Recruitment of labourers was proving very difficult.

Then his town economic development officer suggested he consider hiring a Ukrainian refugee and put him in touch with the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council.

Last week, Dmytro Zaitsev joined Bonneville as a labourer, and is training to be an equipment operator. Zaitsev, who had temporary lodgings in a Winnipeg hotel, has moved to Reston and – from all appearances – is happy to be part of the Bonneville team.

“He’s willing to learn,” Omichinski said about his new hire.

Safety training is a going concern and Zaitsev’s English is rudimentary; he and Omichinski are working side by side so far, to ensure his introduction and training to the work gives due regard to safety and health. When English fails, the two are using a translation app on their cell phones.

“There’s always that (safety) concern and, basically, you just have to work with him and be patient,” Omichinski stresses.

That means there’s a lot of time and effort to onboard a new employee, but Omichinski said it is paying off, especially since he was short of workers – the undesirable option of closing shop and retiring was staring him in the face.

He encourages other employers, especially those smaller companies that are struggling to recruit, to follow suit and take the effort to train Ukrainian refugees.

Zaitsev is cheerful, enthusiastic and appears to be grateful for the chance to start a new life. He worked as a blacksmith in Poland prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when he felt he needed to leave Ukraine.

“Give them the opportunity and they will surprise you.”

Chair’s Gala

November 18, 2022
RBC Convention Centre

Close to 650pp attended from both industry, government and stakeholder partners.  It was the closing of Nicole Chabot’s two year term as Chair.  Dennis Cruise of Bituminex Paving was welcomed as the new Chair.

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2022 Heavy Santa

December 16, 2022
David Livingstone School

This event was made possible through fundraising at the MHCA Chair’s Gala and Spring Mixer.

104 goodie bags and presents were prepared for the grades 1-4 students at David Livingstone School. 

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Awards Breakfast & Annual General Meeting

November 18, 2022
RBC Convention Centre

Manitoba Transportation & Infrastructure (MTI) Award Winner

  • Grading – Strilkiwski Contracting Ltd.: PTH 6 Grahamdale
  • Paving – Coco Paving o/a Russell Redi-Mix: Bituminous Reconstruction PTH 83
  • Urban Works – Coco Paving o/a Russell Redi-Mix: Bituminous Reconstruction PA 634 and Bituminous Pavement PTH 5
  • Special Projects – Mekhana Development Corp/Arnason Industries Ltd: Theresa Point Airport
  • Major Structures – D. Steele Construction: Bridge Replacement over the Red River Floodway on PTH 59N
  • Minor Structures – Moncrief Construction Ltd.: Reinforced concrete box culvert on PTH 5
  • Water Management – Brunet Ltd.: Flood response, Morris ring dike closure

200 members and guests gathered to hear greetings from Premier Heather Stefanson and the newly elected Mayor of Winnipeg, Scott Gillingham. Hon. Doyle Piwniuk, Minister, Manitoba Infrastructure, handed out the MTI Awards.

31 companies were recognized for their milestone membership commitments.

Matthew Neziol, of Bayview Construction, received the Safety Leader Award.

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